Out Of Nothing
By: Eric Greenwood
Embrace (not to be confused with Ian Mackaye's short-lived Dischord band) popped up after the hoopla of Britpop had already started to wane in the late 90's with a string of singles, aping everyone from The Verve to Oasis. With its unfortunate penchant for slow, doleful tunes and self-important, cheesy choruses the band alienated as many as it converted with its pasty modern rock, scoring a few top ten hits. Middling success in England didn't translate into anything other than the dregs of college radio playlists here in America, but that hasn't stopped the band from trying desperately to become U2. Out of Nothing is Embrace's "important" album. The band lost its record deal at home, spent three years toiling with writer's block, and even put up its own money to finance portions of this recording. After securing a new record deal with Independiente in the UK, the result, sadly, is a pompous, painfully tacky string of infomercial rock. It's so desperately calculated feel-good music that it sounds like the soundtrack to a Liberty Mutual Insurance ad- the skeletal remains of Britpop notwithstanding. Bland, innocuous vocals, embarrassingly trite lyrics, and blatantly self-righteous music make for a soggy, unlistenable mush. You can see every turn of phrase – both musical and lyrical – miles and miles away. Obvious, THIS IS THE CHORUS choruses are the aural equivalent of mayonnaise and antithetical to everything rock and roll. The British press got this all wrong. But with a name as hippie and emo as Embrace, what did you expect?