Top positive review
Amazing CD about ugly ducklings
on November 11, 2008
This is Emery's second CD featuring the expected mix of screamo and beautiful vocals (Emery's singers are extremely talented). Reviewing music is no fun - you probably already know if you like the songs, although i see that Amazon's page for this CD doesn't currently let you preview the songs. i like the songs (this is one of my favorite bands), but that's no guarantee you will.
So instead of talking about something as subjective as "will you like this screamo record?", let's talk about something more fun - the bonus features.
First off, it comes with 7 acoustic tracks, including their most popular songs (ponytail parades, walls, fractions, studying politics). Their acoustic tracks were the best part of their 3rd CD ("i'm only a man"). Not so here - they aren't bad, but they aren't very good either. That's a shame, because it's the primary reason i bought this version of the CD.
Second, the CD comes with a bonus DVD containing concert footage, a movie about the early days of Emery and some stuff not interesting enough to make it into the movie. Which is amazing - the movie is over an hour long and it is incredibly bad. It's interviews with the band members but the band members are better at singing than talking. They must have spent 15 minutes alone talking about the kind of trailer they drove from South Carolina to Washington. And their attempts to act goofy (making faces and shaking their shoulders) get old by the third or fourth time. Some parts of the movie were interesting, though - i hadn't realized they lived in a storage unit. It was funny to see them try to catch chickens on the farm they lived on. And seeing their early shows was great - the band members outnumbered the audience and the audience looked incredibly bored. Watching Emery play for two people in a CD store was interesting.
The movie also makes the band seem incredibly untalented. This isn't the prettiest band in existence, but as teenagers they were downright goofy looking. The band (especially lead singer Toby) likes to act silly but doesn't appear to have a sense of humor. Off stage, they looked and acted like bored (and boring) down-South teenagers. On stage, they looked like a generic, third rate cover band and sounded worse. My wife and i love the band but after an hour of watching their movie, we wondered how the band every got signed. To say that they've improved is a massive understatement.
The highlight of the bonus DVD, and easily worth the price of the whole thing, is the video of Walls. It was live in concert early in their career and it is easily one of the worst things i've ever seen. The song is terrible, the singing is terrible, the instruments are terrible, the lighting is terrible and the stage presence reminds you of those cruel YouTube videos where someone captures some sad fat kid doing something terribly embarrassing. It's hilarious. i'll never watch the move again (unless i have insomnia and need something to bore me to sleep) but i played the Walls video over and over. Why someone hasn't posted this on YouTube yet is beyond me.