Embrace (UK)
Refugees



Release Date: 02/19/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A prime example of the flaws of the genre.

Post-Britpop has been one of the most popular and unoriginal genres in the past decade. Ever since the colossal explosion of bands like Oasis, Pulp, Suede and Blur, there's been a plethora of 2000s bands trying to ride on the success of catchy, highly British, guitar-led music. A few bands have broken through and found enormous success in this genre, such as Coldplay and Travis.

Embrace was somewhat successful in the early 2000s, and their new EP is similar to the music they've been playing throughout their whole career. Growth is not something regularly expected of alternative rock bands with a commercial sound. However, not only is their sound analogous to other records (and even other burgeoning alt-rock bands), but within their new EP, songs meld together with unoriginality. The title track, "Refugees," screams a similar uplifting tone to "Decades." "Refugees" manages to be a pretty yet highly generic and dispassionate token ballad. Its uninteresting piano intro fades into twinkling synths and the falsetto of Richard McNamara. It builds up like most inspiriting songs of its kin, to a driving rock tone backed by loud synths and guitars yet soft vocals. Apart from its unoriginality, "Refugees" falters because of its cringe-worthy lyrics. "Like Bonnie & Clyde except we don't die tonight," Richard Mcnamara croons at the start of the track in an attempt to sound emotive and sentimental, yet only coming off as meretricious.

Track 2, "Chameleon," is no better; it again treads water in a sea of conventional Post-Britpop songs. Its upbeat midsection is more interesting than most of the track, yet its uninspired chord progression drags it down. It follows the same format as "Refugees": a subdued piano intro shaping up to an arena-rock ready sing-along. The laziness of songwriting is apparent; it's again a cookie-cutter alt-rock tune.

Not unit the final track, "Bullets," does the EP shows some hope for the band. Again, its a dynamic-led ballad, but it doesn't seem as kitschy this time. Maybe it's because it never reaches its full climax until near the end, instead of peaking in the middle, leaving the rest of the track to wander aimlessly. Another strength is its length; unlike "Refugees," it doesn't overstay its welcome with repetitive choruses. Its clearly the best arranged song on the EP, despite still having an unoriginal chord progression.

The wave of 21st century bands attempting to be as successful as their 90s predecessors are spearheaded by some worthwhile groups. Unfortunately, Embrace's new EP does not show any growth nor much originality. It's still the same affecting ballads we've all heard, with plain piano leads and transparent lyrics. But "Bullets" is a ray of light, showing the band breaking out of their shell, or as much as a band like them could. Cleverly arranged yet still somewhat generic, "Bullets" doesn't feel like they're trying to churn out hits, instead trying to be a worthwhile act who can write solid music.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ryus
February 19th 2014


3375 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album is filled to the brim with mediocrity

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

minty901
February 19th 2014


2077 Comments


they have some good songs

NOHEMID
February 20th 2014


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I dont know how much information the writer of this Review have on Embrace, because Danny McNamara is not the singer in Decades, and he only does the last part of Refugees, at the end. The singer in these songs is his brother Richard McNamara.

For me the Britpop is over, after 7 years, this is a transformation for Embrace, they have evolve.

Everyone has its own opinion, but I believe this is their best work ever.
The EP is like a Mini CD, with 4 great songs.

If this EP is soo bad, I dont know why is No.1 on the Rock chart on itunes??

http://www.apple.com/euro/itunes/charts/top10rockalbums.html (as is today 20 Feb, and yesterday).

MikeHunt14
February 20th 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Ryus…you my friend are an idiot and obviously know nothing at all about music. Point number 1, it is Richard who
sings falsetto on Refugees, not Danny. A little bit of research might help there.

Point number 2, it is a guitar intro on Chameleon. If you can't tell the difference between a guitar and a piano wtf are you
doing reviewing a piece of music???

Point number 3, Embrace had 3 number 1 albums and 7 top 10 singles compared to Travis who had 2 number 1 albums
and 4 top 10 hits, yet you declare that Travis have had huge commercial success while Embrace have enjoyed only
mediocre success. Again, this makes you look very foolish despite trying to sound intelligent by using big words like
meretricious.

Point number 4, Chameleon is a ballad??? Jesus do you actually listen to music on a regular basis???

Point number 5, most musicians who love their art form ARE more
interested in writing solid music than churning out the hits. If its hits you want, I suggest you listen to One Direction.

Point number 6, your dislike of Embrace shines through your entire review which begs the question, out of all the records
you could have reviewed why did you pick an Embrace one to bitch about???

Point number 7, and most importantly, this record has
gotten rave reviews from music journos, radio djs, fans and Embraces peers within the music industry. Somehow I don't
think the boys will be too disheartened by a sloppy, ill informed review by a wannabe music critic under the pseudonym
of Ryus. And by the way this IS the best EP that has been released since the 17th of February 1997. And guess who that
one was by???

Ryus
February 20th 2014


3375 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lol you're either 10 years old or a troll or very stupid but either way made me laugh, props

MikeHunt14
February 20th 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great retort there mate. I showed you up for the fraud that you are and that's the best you can come up with. And you call me a 10 year old…try a past time that might better suit your intellect because music critiquing is definitely not for you.

Ryus
February 20th 2014


3375 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hahahahaha i love you



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