Lovers is a concept album by Emmi, the story of a relationship across six songs. It’s exciting for two reasons; first, more Emmi and second, this kind of storytelling is new for the artist.
Do the songs stand on their own? And do they make for a compelling narrative?
Individually, we have a diverse set of songs, from the intimate rawness of Moments and The Way We Used To to the more complex production and wordplay reflecting the deliberation behind Label On It and Scared Stupid (my personal favourite). What is consistent across these pieces however is her vocal performance.
Emmi show’s great range, meeting the needs of each song well, it’s important to remember that these song are as much a piece of drama as they are music, and as performance pieces what shines is how genuine they feel as portrayals of anxiety and deeply relatable emotional struggles.
But again, it’s not just about the songs on their own, which is seen most clearly with the final two. Yes, Won’t Do Love That Way is passionate and powerful but as the penultimate piece it combines the strength of the songs that came before serving as a pinnacle all the more impactful because of the history it inherits from the other songs. And then there’s Stay Awake, a stripped down simpler and softer piece that manages to be sublime while also elevating the entire album with a perspective previously absent.
So that’s a yes on both counts, Lovers isn’t just gorgeous but also presents an emotive narrative that’s exciting because of the potential is shows for the artist to evolve. In terms of comparisons it most brings to mind the musical The Last 5 Years which also tells the story of a relationship from a very personal perspective.