Emily King

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ATO

Feb 06, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Pop-friendly soul can have a decidedly generic feel to it when done badly but for the most part here on her third full-length, Emily King traces the well-worn outlines of accessible R&B at the least adequately and, particularly in the early minutes of the record, pretty damn well.

Opener "Remind Me" has a high energy, old-school feel and a kicking chorus to boot that, in terms of arrangement and instrumentation recalls classic era Madonna or Whitney Houston. Followed by the melodically delightful "Teach You," a light strum that evolves into a slinky calypso number, it's a promising start.

Unconventional ballads such as "Look At Me Now," with its inspiringly resilient lyric, and piano-led "Running" showcase King's understatedly accomplished, rich voice. Unlike a million and one pop star also-rans she expresses raw emotion when her material allows.

Elsewhere, though, on tunes such as the pretty but pretty forgettable "Marigold" and the bland, by-the-numbers "Caliche," King fails to inject life into her performance and no amount of smooth, smart production can help lift these moments.

Unlikely to be turning on any new fans, this will no doubt please those who have followed King since her earliest appearance on Nas' Street's Disciple, yet there's really not enough here to grab onto to really move the soul and demand repeated listens. (www.emilykingmusic.com)  

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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