By Linh-Chi Nguyen, Courier Staff Writer
The seamless blending of soul and hard-hitting rock 'n' roll is hardly ever pronounced in music today. Emerging from the post-hardcore scene, the band Emarosa produces an album nothing short of disappointing. The sextets' self-titled sophomore album integrates a more structured sound while still maintaining the melodic rhythm expressed in their first full-length album titled Relativity. With several alterations that could be made in the next album, Emarosa could definitely be one of the most diverse sounding bands known today.
A positive contribution to the band is vocalist Jonny Craig's beautifully refined voice. Craig destroys all scene cliches with his unbelievable tone Since joining in late 2007, Craig perfectly fuses his euphoric R&B sound with the addition of Emarosa's crushing guitar riffs, resonating synth and complementary drumming.
The album opens up with “A Toast to the Future Kids,” a jaw-breaker that incorporates a :30 second clip of Craig's insane voice that smoothly transitions into a catchy rock single. Craig passionately sings throughout the whole album as the rest of the band are held captive of their potential. The remaining members seem to only fade into oblivion whilst Craig takes center stage; the instrumental elements could easily go unnoticed beneath Craig's voice.
In several songs such as “Broken vs. the Way We Were Born” and “I Still Feel Her Pt. 4,” drummer Lukas Koszewski successfully pulsates his way through each song. In addition, his notably heavy pounding and powerful belts greatly complement the album.
Compared to their first release, Emarosa's sophomore album lack recognition in regards to its guitar and keyboards. Even with guitarists ER White and Jonas Ladekjaer crafting articulate and outrageous guitar riffs, it is hardly recognized on this album. The creatively concocted guitar lines are almost blurred while keyboardist Jordan Stewart's synth is also not close to a defining element on the album. If produced more crisp and refined, the guitar and keyboards could significantly contribute to the overall sound of the self-titled.
The album comes to a close with the song “We Are Life”, which is embedded with peppered drumming, pleasant guitar lines, a soaring chorus and a gradual intensity that leaves listeners in complete awe. This song represents the balance between soul and rock 'n' roll, forming a perfect duo.
Although the album impressively showcases vocalist Jonny Craig's harmonic voice, it also fails to shed any spotlight on the remaining five. Despite the lack of balance between Craig and instrumentals, Emarosa is an astoundingly solid album. When Emarosa learns to master this creative balance by incorporating the rest of the band with Craig's voice, they will surely be one of the more unique bands to date.