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Delirious With Weird

Monday, June 14, 2004  

And so Embrace announce their comeback single. I’m reliably informed that news broke a day early because of some cuntwit at 6music. “Gravity” will be out on August 30th with an album two weeks later, making it just over three years since If You’ve Never Been. Yes I know what the album is called, no I’m not telling, no I haven’t heard it, no I don’t know the tracklisting, yes I do suspect it might be very good, in that BIG, ANTHEMIC, MINOR-TO-MAJOR CHORD way. Yes, I am excited.

Here’s the suckerpunch. “Gravity” is written by Chris Martin.

Now I’m the last person to bitch about people writing their own songs, but this is odd. Not sure what to think. I obviously think Coldplay are weak and boring and so on and so forth, with ABYSMAL lyrics, but Chris Martin clearly has a way with a populist, hummable melody. I’m sure Embrace would make any arrangement much more muscular and exciting than Coldplay would. And I’m sure that the publicity this will garner will factor in Embrace’s favour; I would love to see them go massive and sell five million records. Ten million records. Twenty million records. Cos maybe then I could write a book and buy a house.

But at the same time, I know they can do stuff better than Coldplay could ever do. Much better. So we’ll see.


6/14/2004 10:11:00 pm


Blogger lee - 6:48 am

Embrace better than Coldplay? Good one.

Aren't Embrace that band that did a song with a Kazoo? That must have been pretty anthemic.

Fireworks was good tho.

One thing: Chris Martin can sing, a charge hard to level at Danny Embrace.

Still good luck to 'em.

Blogger Nick - 8:48 am

The "can't sing" accusation is an old trope and pointless, especially here. If technical singing ability bothered me would I have gone nuts over Lumidee, would I be able to listen to Ian Crause or Ian Brown or Graham Sutton or Mike Skinner 'sing'? Doubtful. Singing's not about hitting notes anyway, it's about pulling strings, I've said this before both here and elsewhere. That Danny's vocal chords don't match his tunes half the time just adds to part of the vainglorious appeal of their grander, more dramatic, anthemic stuff.

And besides, that's not what I was ever drawn to them for particularly. I may have mentioned that I suspect the new record will be good in a "BIG, ANTHEMIC, MINOR-TO-MAJOR CHORD" way, but I don't necessarily think that's what Embrace do best. My favourite song by them remains "Blind" off the Fireworks EP, which is total, engines-revving, sonic-overload, give-the-producer-tinnitus ROCK.

As for them being better than Coldplay, well, Coldplay have one tempo and that's 'tepid'. They could never do anything as nuts as Embrace's "Brothers & Sisters", as breezy as "I Wouldn't Wanna Happen To You", as overblown and awesome as "Over", as psychotic as "New Adam New Eve", as oddly delicate as "I Had A Time", as fun as "Hooligan". Plus, as mentioned before, Chris Martin's lyrics are atrocious. Danny McNamara may not be the best lyricist in the world, but he does input the occasional great couplet, loaded with withering personal insight, odd slants and repetitions. Chris Martin deals almost entirely in empty platitudes with almost no degree of character and personality; "Politik" is embarassing. And "Gravity" is awkward too; if you're going to use a vaguelly scientific metaphor then at least make it acurate and interesting, because the accuracy of observance and metaphor makes it much more affecting by showing a degree of thought and real identification. In life it's the tiny, weird observances that make moments memorable, not the overarching 'profundity' or whateverthefuck. Gravity does not work because the earth spins, it's not centrifugal; it works because of mass. This may be pedantic, but think how much better, more intriguing, how much more personal, this would be.

But anyway. We'll see.

Blogger HOLT - 11:15 am

Can't access the Embrace site at all. Very very excited though.

I heard the Chris Martin link a month or so ago. One of my friends was out with Danny and Sean Hughes and he seemed to be really agonising over whether to run with it or not. Clearly, it is a commercially motivated decision but I, for one, now accept that it is a necessary evil.

Like you, I just feel they deserve to be big and I'm happy to share them with the world now - they've kind of spoiled us enough with all of the secret gigs.

From a selfish perspective they seem to have made the album I wanted them to make. Kind of a full circle loop to TGWO but coloured with all that has happened since; the fact that they have developed as musicians primarily. Don't want to jump the gun but my expectations are so high.

Nick, you need to try to surpass 'schizophrenically eclectic' with a soundbite for the new album once you have heard it ;)

Blogger Nick - 11:57 am

I'm being paid to come up with a thousand-word soundbite for it...

Blogger HOLT - 12:05 pm

PR? Or to review it?

Getting paid to write stuff about music. Fantastic stuff. Beats the shit out of my 9-5, that's for sure.

Blogger Nick - 1:18 pm

Somewhere between the two. And I still do a 9-5 too...

Blogger HOLT - 2:25 pm

I forward on a lot of Stylus stuff to people and even started sending my comments into that I Love The 90's series. Some of the American guys on there who are 18 put me to shame, I keep wondering why on earth I wasn't doing something similar (perhaps not music) when I was that age.

I'm sure it isn't too long before you get to do the journalism/writing bit as the 9-5. And of course it won't even feel like a 9-5.

I should get my finger out of my arse and write more as well so I can quit this wretched, soul-destroying, corporate sentence.

Really disappointed with the reaction on the msg board but I don't really know what I was expecting with the number of youngsters on there not to mention the illiterate NO NAME brigade. Fuck it, today is a good day.

Blogger Nick - 9:10 am

John, drop me an email if you fancy contributing anything else to Stylus.


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

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