Another week, another ESC album to review, and this time I’m going to go through the début effort of 2013 winner Emmelie De Forest from Denmark. With the international acclaim for her Eurovision entry “Only Teardrops”, the album of the same name has a lot to live up to – has it delivered?
Just for a bit of background, I was a huge fan of the song “Only Teardrops”, and whilst the general fan hype grated on me towards the end, I was really happy when it stormed to victory on the final night. It was a fairly commercial piece of ethno-pop, which was undeniably instant and catchy, and would likely go down as one of the better winners of the 21st century.
Naturally, I was enthusiastic about the prospect of hearing an entire album of Emmelie’s music, and on first listen, it was everything I was hoping for and more. The familiar fusion of modern and ethnic was present on almost every track, with synthesisers and flutes intermingling effortlessly to create the backing for Emmelie’s unmistakeable vocals. Lyrically, the album stays relatively close to the sort of “at-one-with-nature-tormented-soul” persona that seems to have been created for her, which is a shame as it leaves very little to relate to in terms of lyrical content (save perhaps in “What Are You Waiting For”)
However, it’s the kind of music that’s right down my street. I SHOULD just love it. The stand-out track for me would have to be “Hunter & Prey” – the song which most closely follows the formula of “Only Teardrops”, and which has, incidentally, been selected as the next single.
An ethereal instrumentation, soaring chorus, and supremely catchy hook, it’s by far the best track on the album. There are others which are worth a listen, of course; most notably “Haunted Heart”, “What Are You Waiting For” and “Beat The Speed Of Sound” – all of which take a little while to grow on the listener, but seem to be largely representative of Emmelie’s artistry.
I’ve stumbled through three paragraphs now, squeezing every last positive out of this record. It’s time for a slightly more realistic verdict: on the whole, it’s just a bit underwhelming. It may just be my inner ethno-pop junkie howling in despair at what is essentially a missed opportunity for epicness, I don’t know. At the end of the day, this album could have been a hit-it-out-of-the-park home run (like “Heal” was for Loreen last year – alright, it took her six months, but it was worth it…) “Only Teardrops” simply pales in comparison. There is nothing wrong with any of the individual songs, there’s just not a great deal which leaps out of the realms of the ordinary for me. To quote escinsight‘s Ewan Spence “it’s audio wallpaper” – and much as I wanted to have something better to say about this album, I just can’t. It’s there, it’s *nice*, you think it’s awesome on a first listen, but after about a week, the sugar rush dies down and there’s nothing substantial really left. Sorry Emmelie. Good luck with the next one!
Nathan Stella from the Netherlands: I love the esoterical, natural sound of it. Very soothing, yet emotional.
Hristos Vrettos from Greece: I’m sorry. I just listened up to song #5 or #6. I didn’t like it at all, far too boring for me
Søren Lodahl Johansen from Denmark: Love it.. Only the first song not so great. But the rest TOP-stars 🙂
Belén Garcia from Spain: I love it, very good album 🙂
Judging by these views, perhaps my negativity towards the album is misplaced, who knows. I’m still mourning for how amazing it could have been, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the fact that Emmelie De Forest has produced a respectable, individual pop album which certainly does no harm to her already growing fanbase.
But what do you think?? Feel free to comment below!