Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate)
You Will Eventually Be Forgotten


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (96 Reviews)
August 22nd, 2014 | 75 replies


Release Date: 08/19/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album that will make you very sad (but not in the good way)

The change in style Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) have implemented on their second full length album You Will Eventually Be Forgotten should not have come as a surprise. Since the release of their first full length What It Takes To Move Forward in 2009, the midwestern emo husband and wife duo have put out two EPs and countless splits through which a straight forward, literal lyrical approach cast over shorter, more straight to the point musical arrangements was adopted and evolved. Unfortunately this changing of tides is largely unsatisfactory in a full length context, especially compared to the duo's genre defining first album, and I'm afraid the melancholy album title is likely to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) first started using storytelling lyrics based on first hand accounts told through similes and straight forward wording in 2011 with the release of their second EP Home After Three Months Away. The songs on that release were very strong instrumentally, and the lyrics seemed to exist to compliment already strong music. Much of the music here however feels stale and rehashed, and more of an afterthought with most of the emphasis placed on the lyrics. This isn't inherently a problem, but the lyrics aren't strong enough to stand out on their own, and they don't fit the music a lot of the time. A major problem with this style of linear storytelling lyrics is once the emotional climax of the lyrics is known, the impact is largely gone on repeated listens. Some of the lyrical themes are uninteresting when told in a flat, straightforward manner, such as "Stay Divided," whose tale of teenagers flipping a raft and not much else is unmoving emotionally, and although the sentiment is appreciated, so many songs about the band's personal life doesn't leave the impact that a broader topic would. The lyrics on You Will Eventually Be Forgotten are good, but don't even come close to the better utilized lyrical style of What It Takes To Move Forward and the similar, but much stronger Home After Three Months Away.

The biggest shortcoming is how Empire! Empire! fare musically. Gone are the six to eight minute post-rock inspired epics that invoked great emotion and atmosphere; in are three and a half minute long tracks that go nowhere musically and exist merely to supplement lyrics. A song that goes places lyrically, but does not musically results in a feeling of awkwardness and unfulfillment. The best songs on the album are the ones where shifts in the song structure match shifts in the lyrics. Songs like "You Have to Be So Much Better than You Ever Thought" and "It's So Much Darker When a Light Goes Out than When It Would Have Been If it Had Never Shone" build musically as the lyrics build, and the instrumental climax in the latter track beautifully reflects the climax in the lyrics. Unfortunately most of the other tracks plod along musically and fizzle out without any sort of real climax. Unmemorable music that is subservient to lyrics that aren't strong enough to carry a song on their own keeps You Will Eventually Be Forgotten from reaching the Olympian heights Empire! Empire! are capable of achieving.

With all that said, with all the criticisms levied, with all the comparisons made to previous works, You Will Eventually Be Forgotten is still a great record. It's a deeply flawed record that leaves a lot to be desired, but it's good enough for me to care, good enough for me to want better, good enough for me to have so much to say about it. You Will Eventually be Forgotten is Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) at their very worst, but it's still Empire! Empire! and like an underachieving child that isn't living up to their potential musically and writes a lot of self-absorbed poetry, you still love them anyway.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2014


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Holy fuck this is a long review for me

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YakNips
August 21st 2014


13219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

so not a 5 eh

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SnakeDelilah
August 21st 2014


9092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

agreed

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YakNips
August 21st 2014


13219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh also

this is a long review for someone with nothing to think about

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2014


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Treb! Treb! (I Was a Lonely Reviewer)


treeqt.
August 21st 2014


11565 Comments


An album that will make you very sad (but not in the good way)3.5
greatAlbum Rating: 4.0

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SeaAnemone
August 21st 2014


20953 Comments



things before what it takes: 2.5y, only good for singles
what it takes: 4.2
home after three months: 4.5
polar bear cover one: 3.8
this: 3.2

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2014


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

first ep - 4
singles before what it takes -4 to 4.5
what it takes - 5
home after - 4.5
polar bear - 4.5
newer splits and shit - mostly 4 some 3.5

SeaAnemone
August 21st 2014


20953 Comments


yeah their discog soured on me in the past two year
not like soured
because it's still awesome
I just don't get a lot out of this sound anymore tbh

JohnnyOnTheSpot
August 21st 2014


1900 Comments


Ugh write a book why don't you

Digging: Burstbot - Memory Imprints

StallionMang
August 21st 2014


6146 Comments


I don't really listen to the stuff after their last two EPs, ahh well they had a great run

Digging: The Smith Street Band - South East Facing Wall

Pajolero
August 21st 2014


237 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I pretty much agree with every point you made there Treb. I wouldn't say I'm terribly disappointed with this release and while I knew there was pretty much no way they could top What it Takes I somehow expected better from them. After three listens I have very little desire to listen to it again and that is just sad (not in a good way).

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hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2014


1730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

My thoughts on this completely.

thelastsignal
August 21st 2014


1587 Comments


Finally! Nice review, still need to check this.

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fromtheinside
August 21st 2014


19153 Comments


damn i know this was hard for you to write treb i'm sorry :/

on the flip side! maybe i'll like this!

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SwallowShotguns
August 22nd 2014


108 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this becomes more boring on repeat listens, such a shame

Artuma
August 22nd 2014


15993 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ur late treb

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bakkermaarten007
August 22nd 2014


3687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is a very strong review trebor. And I agree with those longer songs you mentioned. The longer ones are easily the best here. I also like the last one a lot.

ShitsofRain
August 22nd 2014


5956 Comments


flag thisssss

Matte
August 22nd 2014


553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty much exactly my thoughts, good stuff Treb. I really hope this isn't their final album. If they could find some balance between what they're doing here and their approach on WITTMF, I think they could create another masterpiece.



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