Friday, September 21, 2007

The New: Emma Pollock's Watch The Fireworks

This review appears in today's edition of Washington Square News.

Emma Pollock, former member of the disbanded Delgados, approaches her old group's sublime quality on this solo effort. Pollock's most entrancing asset is her voice, and it shines through on the record's eleven immaculate pop songs.

"Adrenaline" is a strong mid-tempo track, with contributions from ex-Delgados drummer Paul Savage that add a triumphant punch. Pollock is equally adept at sparser tracks like "Fortune," where the precise piano arrangement, courtesy of Jamie Savage (Paul's brother), smoothly complements the lightness of Pollock's voice. The melody is reinforced by soaring backup vocals.

But Pollock's voice is all her own. Though the album deals mostly with the traditional subject of relationships, Pollock writes creative and often evocative verses, referring to silence as a "residue" and love as an "acid test." She never indulges in melodrama and shows restraint despite the songs' personal nature.

The Delgados were always critically acclaimed but commercially underappreciated, and while "Watch the Fireworks" could lead to rave reviews, it is more accessible than her band's work. Though longtime fans may be upset by the slicker production and the loss of scaled-back orchestral elements that defined the Delgados, Pollock seems poised to appeal to a wider audience.

MP3: Emma Pollock - Acid Test
MP3: Emma Pollock - Adrenaline
MySpace: Emma Pollock
Official Site: Emma Pollock

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