The Persistence of Memory



by Simon K. STAFF
November 20th, 2021 | 2 replies

Release Date: 11/05/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The first serious misfire of Richard's career.

I think the biggest take away from The Persistence of Memory is one of shock and befuddlement. Just what the hell was Richard thinking when he wrote Emigrate’s fourth album, and when did he think this meagre amount of dodgy content was acceptable in this state? More to the point, did he even stop and think about these things before throwing it out into the public? One thing that has always shocked me about the members of Rammstein, is just how consistent all of their work is – side projects and all. Richard and his long-standing band Emigrate is absolutely no exception. While Emigrate lacks the panache and distinction to make his works truly pop, to the point of being exceptional feats of artistic expression, they are still bloody fun albums, filled with cool riffs, great guest spots, and a really nice production. Richard’s vocal work and approach is one that deserves commendation as well, as he’s improved tremendously over the years and brought a pithy flavour to Emigrate’s overall brand.

So, it comes as a bit of a shock to see The Persistence of Memory in this state of ennui. With the exception of maybe two new tracks being note-worthy, the rest of the original tracks sound incredibly opaque, bland, and flaccid. However, uninspired goth-rock hues and over-gorged ballads aside, there are some really bizarre artistic choices at play here. “Always On My Mind” is so egregiously bad I can’t comprehend the level of fumbling from someone in Rammstein, without trying to understand how it got to this. “Always On My Mind” is a Frankenstein’s monster of experimentation and the results are simply disastrous, but mainly hilarious. Then there’s the redux “Hypothetical”, an excellent track that first appeared on 2014’s Silent So Long and featured Marylin Manson. Not only does it feel unnecessary to make this a main track for the album, as the LP only runs at a malnourished nine tracks as it is, Richard just sounds like he’s compensating and trying to fill the void Manson left from the original track. This new rendition just feels hollow and lacks the serrated edge Manson’s version has, with that big wrecking ball riff.

Lamentingly, it isn’t much better when you search for positives here. “Freeze My Mind” is the best track here; filled with funk, smooth, infectious choruses, and multifaceted songwriting, if the rest of the album operated at this level there would be no qualms to be found here. Unfortunately, the majority of the tracklisting is lethargic, mid-tempo-d ballad rock that screams for a surge of energy. Overall, The Persistence of Memory feels half-baked and completely lacking in Emigrate’s usual qualities. Couple that with the aforementioned cover and remake of “Hypothetical”, on a nine-track record no less, and the quality is sorely lacking here.

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user ratings (11)

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 20th 2021


Album Rating: 2.5

It's a average Rock/Industrial/Pop Album...Not more Not Less.

November 22nd 2021


Album Rating: 1.5


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