Album Review: Empra - Empra

1 August 2012 | 9:04 am | Mary Gillooly

Empra puts a unique spin on somewhat generic and familiar musical structures...

With a high energy and uplifting sound, four-piece Empra's eponymous album encapsulates heartbreak, sadness and picking yourself up after a pretty lousy time.

The record kicks off with I Won't Give Up, which sets the album on a cracking pace with much potential for candle-waving singalongs. Lead single, Doesn't Make Much Sense, expresses a raw and earnest desire to give up on a friend who has given up on themselves. Reminiscent of early Foo Fighters, the sound and feel of the track is melancholic whilst also empowering. In Only Love, lead vocalist Sanny Veloo wails, “You've got to fake it until you make it.” Brimming with confidence and aggressive optimism, the group is unapologetically loud and emotional. The listener feels as though they are entering the thoughts of Veloo through simple lyrics and the melancholy guitar parts that fill in the spaces between the heavier choruses.

A standout on the album is Sabrina, featuring Wally de Backer (aka Gotye), a tune that finishes off the album nicely. Soft acoustic guitar and sweet vocals meld together to create a tale of the loss of a friend. One can't help but feel touched by its softness and be led into a sense of security before an intense crescendo breaks things apart. If one continues to listen, a secret track is revealed with a very different vibe from the previous songs… We won't spoil the surprise.

Empra puts a unique spin on somewhat generic and familiar musical structures, and the result is a very listenable album that channels heartfelt and honest emotions and opinions with simplicity and directness.

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