Friday, October 07, 2005

A Hysterical Album Pseudo-Review: Out of Nothing (Embrace)

It's official: Chris Martin is a menace to music.

How else can you explain the number of bands that bear an uncanny resemblance to his band's sound? They've already started on Keane, and they branched out to the United States, in the form of Blue Merle's lead singer, and now they have Embrace in its grasp.

To be fair, Blue Merle has their own distinctive sound (they play with a mandolin!), but Luke Reynolds, their vocalist, uses a Chris Martin inflection at times, and it disturbs me.

Now, before you go out and say that hey, Embrace was releasing albums even before Coldplay was starting, Coldplay used to open for Embrace, the thing is, when your comeback single was written by Chris Martin, all fairness stops.

Why do bad things happen?

Embrace is not a new band in the UK music industry. Their first CD, The Good Will Out, was a British hit in 1998, and the album rose to number one in the UK charts. Their next two albums were commercial failures, and their label dropped them in 2002*. The label Independiente picked them up, and in 2004 they released their "critically-acclaimed" album "Out of Nothing".

And is it just me, but don't you feel even the slightest bit insulted that on your CD cover, it's the song "Gravity" that is singled out for attention? Do your handlers not know that "Ashes" is like, the best song ever? It kicks "Gravity" down (Hehe, I'm so smart, I used a pun.) to the ground. "Gravity" is Coldplay's schloppy seconds! Your darned comeback single was written by Chris Martin!

You might be wondering whether I hate Chris Martin. I don't, really. He and his band have put out some great songs over the years. But when I get an album that does not have the word "COLDPLAY" stamped all over it, I don't expect to hear an overt (yes, OVERT) Coldplay influence. So in other words, he's a scapegoat. Haha.

"Ashes" is gorgeousness. It's driving, it's pulsating, it's melodic, and it's this song where vocalist Danny McNamara's voice is soaring. It's beautiful and it's epic.

With the exception of "Someday" and "Spell it Out", I pushed the fast-forward button on my remote control on all the other songs when I heard that pervasive falsetto. The songs may be nice, but I'm not in the mood.

The pros:

Strong piano and string backup
"Ashes"
"Spell it Out"
"Someday"

The cons:

Chris Martin times one million

Verdict:

The songs "Ashes" and "Spell it Out" more than make up for the whole album. Except that I like the UK edit of "Ashes" better than the US edit, and guess what, I was able to download a free copy of the UK edit on KOAR, and that was before I went out and bought "Out of Nothing" from Tower Records in Glorietta 2, and yes, I am a total idiot.

Stay away from Chris Martin and his boys, Embrace. Stay as far away as you can. Get a restraining order against him. Perform voodoo and magick; assemble a Chris Martin doll and start pricking pins. You're already tainted.

The truth is, Chris Martin is out to rule the world through his music. He and the Crown have an understanding: the Crown regrets letting go of all its former colonies, and they now have a way to exert subtle influence and power over them. With enough Chris Martin and Chris Martin spawns, the world's ears will start bleeding long enough for them to plead for royal mercy and revert to colony status, OH PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE JUST MAKE THEM STOOOOOOOOOOOOOP.

*Then I read a diary entry on Embrace's official website, and it makes me feel bad about this pseudo-review. Just a bit.