ALBUM REVIEW: Sting – Emarosa

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The creative LA duo known as EMAROSA, consisting of vocalist Bradley Scott and guitarist ER White, have returned post 2019’s Peach Club – a record which saw the band chart at the number two spot on the US Indie Charts and 137 on the US Billboard Charts whilst they embarked on a sold out nation-wide tour in celebration. This time however, they’ve sewn together fragments in time to create this timeless take on synth-pop. Sting delivers an honest reflection on both past relationships, future relationships and being unapologetically you; flaws and all.

Opening with Preach, we are welcomed in the warm arms of that MICHAEL JACKSON-esque “ow!” with vintage synth tones, that crisp distinct 80s guitar sound, and cowbell galore accompanied by Scott‘s sweet, soulful vocals that arguably compete with those of CHARLIE PUTH. It’s the complete opposite to Attention which starts off with chopped up synth lines that bring out this edge that works perfectly with Scott’s gritty vocals as he soars through the bridge, “Do you feel alone? / Cause I feel alone/ Cause I feel alone”. With the addition of the choir harmonizing as they belt out “attention” in the background to fills out the sound, this track has a real cinematic feel. 

Sting perfectly showcases EMAROSA‘s abilities as songwriters, such as in the MJ influences sprinkled throughout Stay between the synths and subtle nod to Beat It with the second verse’s guitar riff placed behind the synths while not being completely overpowered by them. Elsewhere, there’s Cinnamon with its feathery light vocals that give praise to Scott and his higher range accompanied by a continuous synth line throughout; the late night driver’s dance anthem in Forgiveness with its synth bass heavy chorus; and the ethereal tinted INLA

The scene stealers of this record belong to Again, Woman and Rush however. These seem to tell this strong visual story upon listening. Again shows this magnetized relationship that moves back and forth but always ends the same; in heartbreak but you can’t help but want those good times back because when it worked it was like fireworks. Woman carries on this story with that sudden epiphany and vulnerability of honesty; breaking yourself down and realizing you deserve better than what you’ve been given even if it hurts. The message is brought beautifully forward by the chorus’ female choir-esque call and response. Now if these tracks represented denial and acceptance then Rush is that post-breakup period where you’re chasing that thrill; an adrenaline fuelled track that gets your heart pumping, a desire to chase the feelings much less the individual with the constant reminder that “Fast love don’t last don’t you know

We close this chapter with Danger; an enticing atmosphere of desire and longing to feel something even if it ends with heartache and disaster as Scott sings in a heartfelt manner, “One more time I fell in love with a stranger / Just one night I was looking for danger. The sudden swoop of the saxophone solo towards the end pulls a sense of yearning in your heart; this realization that many of us are searching for that one night in this big, wide and often lonely world. It feels like a comfort blanket for those with a dark, honest truth staring back at themselves. This feels like a perfect send off for those wanting a heart-pulling ballad. 

As a whole this record does exceptionally well by playing on the nostalgic aspect of the 80s with clear influence from MICHAEL JACKSON and TEARS FOR FEARS mixed with the modernity of artists like THE 1975 and CHARLIE PUTH and of course the obvious influence from synthwave as a whole. The guitar work displayed by White is impeccable, from catchy displays of lead hooks to emotionally driven solos that are few and far between but are impactful and memorable when there. Equally, the vocal display from Scott is stunning between the gritty soul of his deeper range and the feathery light high range he places throughout the record. Its only downfall are the short lived saxophone solos which have so much undelivered potential, yet that’s a minor inconvenience compared to the record as a whole, which delivers more than it lacks.

Rating: 9/10

Sting - Emarosa

Sting is set for release on January 27 via Out Of Line Music.

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The post ALBUM REVIEW: Sting – Emarosa appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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