Emily Grogan – Io (CD)

Emily Grogan – Io / 2005 OneWay Productions / 13 Tracks / http://www.emilygrogan.com / onewayrc@aol.com / Reviewed 03 June 2005

I find it interesting that the opening to “Io” has Emily singing in a way eerily reminiscent of the timbre achieved by both Coheed and Cambria and Linda Perry. The stretched-out guitar could have been increased in volume just a mite during “Begin Again”, but the rest of the song really has a complete, radio-friendly sound to it. The harder-edge present on “Girl of Opportunity” shows an admiration for punk music that really quickens the beat of the track and really gets individuals interested in the music put down to this disc. The present bass laid down by David Grogan on this track is perhaps some of the most impressive instrumentation on the disc, and really has some of the same spontaneity that Emily’s vocals have. The follow-up track to “Girl of Opportunity” really draws back the peppy sound of the previous track, but instead of doing the aural equivalent of spinning one’s wheels, the rich style of Emily’s vocals do more than enough even with the reduce range of instrumentation to make the track succeed.

The inclusion of a horn during “Uranium” restores the same urge that had previous drawn its way throughout the entirety of “Io”, what results is a track that really is reminiscent of the mid-nineties output of alternative music. To be so easily able to pull out influences of both The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Cranberries is to show that Emily wears eir influences on eir sleeve. What really distinguishes Emily from those bands that can never extend beyond their influences is precisely what was mentioned above: there is a richness and individuality present in Grogan’s voice that never departs, however derivative the instrumentation may be. This spark drives the disc through the slower tunes that mark the mid-point of the disc; when tracks like the aptly-named “Drag” and “State” play, it is primarily Emily’s voice that make listeners want to listen.

To be honest, “State” has a very strong instrumentation to it, having an emotive guitar work alongside the sultry horn that is so present throughout. Emily breaks through on this disc with a very distinctive style that will cross-cut a number oof number of genres and fit on stations all across the dial. To succeed in this current period with a style that seems so perfect a fit for the mid-nineties shows an intelligence in arrangement and general sound that outstrips far the number of years that Emily has been alive.

Top Tracks: Face Another Day, Begin Again

Rating: 6.1/10

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