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Album Review
Does It Look Like I'm Here

Does It Look Like I'm Here
by Emeralds

Editions Mego

Review Date
20th August 2010
Reviewed by
Paul Gallagher

After a series of prior noise releases over the last four or five years that have simply blown listeners' minds, Emeralds have returned with something that could be comparatively described as 'accessible'. Cleveland Ohio's best exports since the Browns, Emeralds are renowned for their grit and hard edged approach to sound artistry. They create aural landscapes that bely their affectations to their 1970s krautrock forebears like Klaus Schulze and the Cosmic Jokers family. However, despite the density of their past output, Does It Look Like I'm Here? marks a slight change in tempo - a split from the decidedly aggressive and inward family of noise artists, to a warmer, wider sound that has picked up traction not only amongst abstract audiophiles but also with much broader audiences.

There is still evidence of a synth loop-based structure to their tracks, but there's now a guitar-driven melodic element to the eddy currents of drone. The trio seem serious to explore the less intense, less serious side of life and focus instead on shoring up an arc of stability. Gone are the jarring, jagged edges heard in years' past. Here now is the overlapping transition of almost hearth-side hues, delivering a soundscape that while not fragile is decidedly tender.

Standout tracks? It's hard to dissect an album of cleverly drawn and complimentary pieces into a necessarily rigid heirarchy. Instead, I would say just embrace Does It Look Like I'm Here? as a single, a whole. It's perfect music as the winter begins to die and spring considers taking hold. Emeralds' trajectory as artists has shifted into an area which offers a diversity of listeners - minimalist fans, experimental devotees, naval-gazing tech heads and perhaps even more indie-minded kids swayed by the frothy psych-dub elements of now-superheroes Panda Bear and Burial - a frank opportunity to enjoy this record.

An absolute joy to listen to.

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