Review Summary: As the years pass it's becoming more and more confusing as to why this band is spearheading the whole emo revival movement.
Listening to empire! empire! (I was a lonely estate) is a lot like living in a loveless marriage-it’s sad and isolating, but somehow comfortable and familiar. Keith Latinen has always crafted music that recalls the emo greats, such as Penfold and Mineral, while carving out his own niche. Sure that niche is filled with painfully obvious emotional hooks and eye roll worthy confessional lyrics, but it’s a goofy and sweet delivery nonetheless. But as time passes it’s harder to forgive the band for their niceties, as they continue to craft the most banal emo around. With their sophomore record, empire! empire! are the same as ever, but now the schtick is tired.
With You Will Eventually Be Forgotten
it’s easier now than ever to write off the band completely. Practically carbon copies of every piece of music that empire! empire! has ever created, their sophomore record is filled with tracks that berate the listener with sickly sweet words hooks. All this, of course, to illicit a very specific emotional response which feels partly nostalgic but nowhere near as genuine as, say, American Football
. And there’s the rub. It’s hard to take Latinen seriously when he’s singing of lost loves and ineffable sadness. In the promotional photo we see him sitting happily next to his wife holding a puppy for Christ’s sake.
But this is by no means a deal breaker. You Will Eventually Be Forgotten
feels phony, but that isn’t anything new for the band. What is new, however, is the slicker production, something direly needed. No longer does Latinen sound like he’s singing into a tin can. The album is warmer and fuller, with the vocals sounding less shrill and the guitars feeling less metallic. This certainly helps the near 40-minute album slide by effortlessly, with its only hindrance being the haphazard songwriting.
You see, You Will Eventually Be Forgotten
offers nothing new nor does it pay respectable homage to its influences. It’s an awkward mish mash of emo revival and things older, better bands have done in the past. The songs lack refinement and maturity, existing in a weird space where teenage boys playing in their garages somehow manage to be emotionally enlightening. Nothing here is powerful enough to feel cathartic, while conversely none of it is subtle enough to feel genuine.
empire! empire! (I was a lonely estate) have made another album where they sound like empire! empire! (I was a lonely estate) and a bunch of other bands. It's like the entire record is a parody of emo as whole, which is embarrassing considering how seriously it takes itself. If being hit over the head with emotional builds and confessional lyrics is appealing to you, then perhaps You Will Eventually Be Forgotten
will be of some value.