Imagine if someone threw grunge in the dish-washer with one of those premium-brand, ‘sparkly white’ tablets. Got it? No? Well, if you’d like a pretty good idea of what this may sound like, may I suggest the latest release from Mitchel Emms: Vertigo At History’s Edge.
As a former contestant on BBC’s ‘The Voice,’ it’s pretty safe to say that Mitchel Emms’ vocal performance is… pretty excellent. His voice is original and manages to cut through on each track, while managing to remain clean-cut and sophisticated. This is one of the reasons for my previous ’clean grunge’ comparison. The vocals have this sense of power and punkiness, while remaining inoffensive and very easy-listening.
It’s a very gentle album as a whole, with each song remaining around the same level of mellow as the last, and this is definitely not a bad thing. That being said, it’s certainly one for a quiet Summer evening rather than a wild house-party-mix.
The consistency in the mellow-tone does not mean to say that each track isn’t unique. There’s the more up-beat, ‘indie’ feel to songs like ‘Final Farewell,’ and ‘That Sinking Feeling,’ which, while not straying far from the vibe of the album, throw a little texture into the mix. On the other side of the coin, there’s the psychedelic, floaty feel to songs like my personal favourite: ‘History’s Edge,’ which carries with it a more sombre tone.
The variation of the album also spreads to the length of the songs, with some surpassing the six-minute mark, and others falling short of two. In general, the complexity of the longer tracks means that they often don’t feel their length, aside from ‘Season Of Regret,’ which I felt personally dragged out just a tad. Likewise, the condensed-nature of the shorter songs didn’t take from the mood – why add to something you feel is finished?
The highlights of the album as a whole for me would be its take on a commercial, yet still extremely original sound, and of course the brilliance of the musical/vocal performance. My favourite track is definitely ‘History’s Edge,’ which I’ll definitely be kicking back to in the future.
If you’re in need of a blissful break from the late-summer madness, and want a taste of some fresh-sounding new music while you’re at it, then this might just be the album for you.