Album – Little Daggers – Val Emmich

Posted by admin on September 25th, 2008

  • Band / Artist : Val EmmichmySpace
  • Genre : Alternative / Rock
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy CD : CD Baby
  • Buy Digital Download : iTunes
  • Rating : 9.5 out of 10

Never have I had to sit on an album so long before releasing the review and to think that I nearly didn’t even listen in the first place. The majority of music I cover is stuff I’ve discovered on podcasts, radio (what little I do hear) and recommendations. From PR companies, record labels and management companies with whom I’ve built up a relationship, I often get unsolicited music, that they think I am going to like, rather than just hoisting any old crap on to me. The problem I have however is time and resources. When I got this album in, I read the name, skimmed the sleeve, but nothing really grabbed me, so I put it in the pile of, “To Look at Laters”. My commute by car takes barely 10 minutes, so I don’t get to listen to much music in the car, or rather listen extensively. When it came time to take the car into the shop for it’s service, I grabbed a few CD’s to play on the journey.

Fishing around while driving, I opened a case, took out a CD and popped it into the car stereo. What greeted me was the great sound of “The Lucky Ones”. Once I reached a set of traffic lights, I looked down at the case and lo and behold, there was Val Emmich, staring back at me. This is one of those albums, that you can’t help but by seduced by. “Get on With It”, takes things up a notch and has hit written all over it. The opening of this album is like a car on rocket fuel, you hardly get pause for breath. I say hardly, as the track that follows, “Got a Habit Now”, is at a more sedate pace, but there’s something in the way this song is constructed, that dig it’s claws in further and further, as the track unfolds.

It was when “Hurt More Later” came on that I realised that this was an album to be reckoned with. Many times, I know I’ve found something special when a particular track has me hunting for the previous button on the stereo to re-start the track that’s just finished. This track had me hunting like a caveman who hadn’t eaten in a week. With Val’s strong vocals taking control, it’s the music and vocal accompaniment that drive this song. It all builds up to a wonderful loose, crowd recital of the last verse and it’s something that truly gave me goosebumps.

“Darling Denise” is the one track that for me is a slight blight on what is otherwise an incredible offering. As I’ve said many times before, it’s not a bad track, but just doesn’t press the right buttons. It kind of reminds me of the Plain White T’s, “Delilah”, which is a track that I used to love, but felt it got played to death. “Too Far” is the track that starts the second half of the album, with a slow burning fuse, it funnily enough reminds me a bit of Neil Diamond, more for the phrasing of the chorus, more than anything else. “Wake Up Brand New” lives up to the alternative/rock label and adds another dimension to what is already a truly outstanding album.

When “We Still Bleed” started, it was almost like listening to Marc Bolan, but it soon moves onto a more conventional sound, not that that’s a bad thing. There’s even a hint of the Beatles, with the Strawberry Fields sounding wood flute, synth sound. “Down” begins with a wonderful full sounding acoustic guitar, strumming furiously, yet when the vocals start, there’s a wonderful contrast, as they have a heavy reverb, giving an almost ghostly sound. The album finishes with “Catalyst”, the aftermath of the most wonderful explosion of pop magic.

Conclusion : What more can I say. This is truly one of the best albums I’ve ever reviewed on Indie Launchpad. I implore you to pick up a copy a relive the pure wonder I had when I first put it into my stereo.

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