Review Summary: Flesh and Bone; Emery's most personal, honest, and mature record to date
Flashback to a month ago. Having never heard of Emery, I gave …In Shallow Seas We Sail
a spin just for fun. It was probably one of the best ideas I’ve had all year. Since then, I’ve delved deep into their discography, searching for more, wanting to hear all they had. I’ve been a fan of Emery ever since then, and I probably always will be. Although this may sound like a pointless introduction, it is one that actually answers what this album, Eve
, is. This album is the embodiment of the band’s past 14 years of experience in the industry, and it’s truly remarkable.
Emery’s trademark blend of alternative rock and post-hardcore with dual vocals is still prevalent throughout the album, just not as aggressively tinged as previously. Resorting to a much more reserved, melodic side than compared to some of their earlier work, Eve
is chock full of numerous climatic melodies and breath-taking guitar-to-vocal chemistry. However, that’s not to say that the harder rock tonality of previous albums is no longer there. In fact, songs like “People Always Ask Me If We’re Gonna Cuss in an Emery Song” (did Fall Out Boy write this title?) and “Jesus Wept” take on a driving tone with distorted guitars and pummeling drums hinted with some screaming amidst the mix.
Regardless of the genre being presented throughout each track within Eve
, the ever-present factor is the unique overlaying vocals scattered throughout. “Safe” and “Shame” both experiment with multiple vocals, the former utilizing separate lyrical phrases throughout the verses that make an intriguing fluctuation of vocal harmonies, meanwhile the latter promotes a melody approach that leaves a listener in awe of the immense chemistry between the singers. Although melody is a rather prominent adjective used to describe these vocals, it isn’t always the case here. At the end of “Sins of Every Father” and throughout “Jesus Wept,” an interesting combination of harmony and intense screams makes for a vocal juxtaposition that works perfectly within the album.
As this is a combination of every aspect of their previous records, much of the instrumentation is quite diverse throughout Eve
’s duration. Much of the album relies on the beautifully peaceful/aggressive (depending on the circumstance) guitars, creating riffs, progressions, and hooks that are sure to catch the attention. The instrumental “Flesh” and “See You on the Other Side” focus on developing the song using atmospheric reverb and delay along with gentle note-picking to compliment the background. On the other hand, songs like “Everything That She Offered Me” takes the aggressive approach, utilizing distortion to their advantage, creating a riff heavy tonality that shines amidst a rather tranquil sounds produced throughout the majority of the album. Accompanying such guitars is a rather impressive drum performance. The grooves and rhythms found within Eve
are some of the bands best to date. Although fairly simple, the beats found within “Safe” are a perfect example of this, showing a simple yet powerful pattern in the verse only to erupt into a climatic peak of brilliance in the chorus and bridge. For sheer complexity, however, “Everything That She Offered Me” has the best performance of drumming found throughout the album, using speedy fills and well-placed ghost note rhythms, intricately designed for perfection.
The fluid flow and smooth transition of the entire album is truly what ties everything together. From start to finish, Emery perform at the top of their game, crafting tracks of beauty, aggression, peace, and calamity, yet allowing each track to stand out without overpowering another. Eve
displays the band at their peak, leaving us with a record worthy of being placed on a pedestal in their discography. 14 years later, Emery is still an amazing, powerful band. One month later, and I’m still a fan. One listen, and you may become a fan too.