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Embrace - This New Day

Embrace, This New Day

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

EMBRACE continue to have their sceptics – people who write them off as boring ballad-based indie stalwarts who are content merely to plod through the motions in search of yawn-inducing hits.

But anyone who listens to the new album, This New Day may have to think again, for Danny McNamara and co appear to be growing ever more confident in their sound and more willing than ever to really rock out.

Much like their acclaimed comeback album Out Of Nothing, this latest LP is ripe with diversity and a shimmering, upbeat vibe.

Track one No Use Crying sets things off in excellent fashion, employing some U2-style epic guitar riffs and a rousing set of vocals that seek to convey the message of hope behind it – ‘I won’t let you break, you’ll live to fight another day..’

Current single Nature’s Law finds the band in ‘ballad mode’ but, again, expanding on the sound. The track contains all the hallmarks of classic Embrace – emotional lyrics (‘you should never fight your feelings, you have to follow nature’s law’) delivered in a passionate, epic and deeply ballad-based style. What makes it a little more notable, however, is the simple solo piano line that kicks things off, before sweeping strings and a gospel choir build towards the expected grandstand finale.

Target reverts back to the U2-style guitars, while dropping in some uplifting melodies of sky scraping proportions.

While the meaty guitar riffs of Sainted expertly demonstrate the fuller, more expansive sound of the album as a whole. It’s another skyscraping anthem that allows McNamara’s vocals to soar during the chorus.

There is the odd flat moment, such as the tender ballad I Can’t Come Down, which is ok in small does, but which pales by comparison to some of the better indie ballads of the moment (Keane, Coldplay).

But for the most part this is the sort of album that is more content to deliver sweeping, all-consuming epics.

Celebrate is, like its title suggests, a passionate celebration of life complete with lyrics such as ‘can’t make time stand still, but you can make it run, you can make it bend at will’, while Exploding Machines bursts into life much like a stadium-pleasing Coldplay effort (the guitars are hauntingly similar).

There’s even an arrogant swagger surrounding the bold guitars of Even Smaller Stones which hints at an altogether different direction for the band should they decide to get even heavier.

If Out Of Nothing marked their comeback in emphatic fashion, then This New Day cements their reputation as one of the best indie bands on the circuit, as well as heralding a bold new era.

Track listing:

  1. No Use Crying
  2. Nature’s Law
  3. Target
  4. Sainted
  5. I Can’t Come Down
  6. Celebrate
  7. Exploding Machines
  8. Even Smaller Stones
  9. End Is Near
  10. This New Day