Album Review :
Emery - ...In Shallow Seas We Sail

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Artist: Emery
Album: …In Shallow Seas We Sail
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: 6/2/09
Reviewer: Tyler Hess

Tracklisting:

  1. “Cutthroat Collapse”
  2. “Inside Our Skin”
  3. “Curbside Goodbye”
  4. “Twelve And Fading”
  5. “I’ve Got A Way”
  6. “In Shallow Seas We Sail”
  7. “The Poor and the Prevalent”
  8. “The Smile, The Face”
  9. “A Sin To Hold On To”
  10. “Piggy Bank Lies”
  11. “The Edge of the World”
  12. “The Ghost Of You”
  13. “Open Hands Eyes Closed”

Rarely does a band come along that causes so many ruffles among their own fans as does Emery, who are set to release their fourth full length album, In Shallow Seas We Sail.  It was less than two years ago that they had released I’m Only A Man, which was met with such fan disapproval for stylistic changes than only Showbread could probably relate.  Emery had toned down their Post-Hardcore/Emo/Screamo sound and came out with a more straight ahead rock album, taking away a lot of the intensity (read: Josh Head‘s screaming) that they had mixed so well with the melodic harmonies of Devin Shelton and Toby Morell.  Though some of us gladly received the experiment, other fans were left to debate if Emery was terrible because they no longer sounded like they did on their debut, The Weak’s End, or if it was because they no longer sounded like they did on the follow up, “The Question“.  Some were left wondering if they had anything left in them, others were sure they didn’t.

A funny thing happened on the way to the tomb one day, Emery came out with an EP last year that gave fans hope for a comeback.  While Broken Hearts Prevails seemed to send two messages.  The first was that the guys of Emery were rather disappointed that many of their fans were so quick to desert them.  The second was found in the music itself, which had clearly brought back some of their earlier influences.  That brings us back to now, where Emery was probably in a do or die situation, at least in terms of popularity.

Thankfully, Emery did a whole lot more doing than they did dying.  Much like previous releases, In Shallow Seas We Sail has some typical themes that are evident both lyrically and musically.  It doesn’t take long to receive with joy the music that they have come out with, but it does take awhile to really get a good grasp on what I’m listening to, except that they are obviously singing about broken relationships, which is Emery‘s MO.  The best thing that they did in this album is that they combined the best of what they did on The Weak’s End and the best of what they did on The QuestionWhile Broken Hearts Prevail (and included the best two songs from ) to make what I believe will prove to be the most complete Emery album to date.

Overall:  If fans can be fickle, older Emery fans will have to decide if they can move forward with them or move on, but if they didn’t check out In Shallow Seas We Sail then they are missing out on what I believe will be one of, if not the best album of the year.

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