by Mark Woodhouse
How to describe Emery’s sound on sixth album You Were Never Alone?
It’s a bit indie rock, it’s a bit post-hardcore, it’s a bit shimmery, it’s a bit frantic, it’s a bit abrasive (pun intended). Second track Thrash for example, goes from hardcore head-banging to jazz, and it’s a wild ride! It’s an inventive mix of many disparate ingredients. It’s interesting. And I like it.
But let’s talk about words.
The words of the dual vocalists are like instruments in themselves. Ignoring their meaning for a second, the way the words sound is really fascinating and intricate and pleasing. “Seven words have severed into me”. What great word-play!
Words are also a big theme of this album. Thrash is a big challenge to insincere Christians whose “rigid throats proclaim the righteous written word”. Bam! Though “Many times in my life I doubted your words”, still God speaks through them: “everything I’ve heard is true”.
Perhaps Emery’s attitude is best summed up in What’s Stopping You. This is a humble song. It’s humble in admitting the desire to be number one, and it’s humble in admitting their place as number two:
“The upper case is yours not mine
Orchestrate my words and lines”
“Make this your business what I am about to say”
God is a speaking God, and Emery know it. God speaks, and his word achieves what he wants it to (Isaiah 55:10-11). And sometimes he even orchestrates the words of a band like Emery, encouraging us through music to listen to his righteous written word afresh. I’m giving Emery’s You Were Never Alone four-and-a-half out of five stars.
You Were Never Alone by Emery is available now on iTunes.