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Out Of Nothing
Lava Records

Whether you think you have heard Embrace or not, you have most certainly heard their influence. It is simply a statement of fact that the current state of British bands would be very different if not for Danny McNamara, his brother Richard, Mickey Dale, Steven Firth, and Michael Heaton. Dare I say that there would be no Coldplay? Certainly Radiohead would not have turned from their pop roots to creating a slower, more experimental sound without Embrace first coming on the scene and showing the entire world that it was okay for Britpop to once more be composed of epic balladry. The first Embrace record, The Good Will Out, was released in the States, but the week before the single broke the charts, the band was ubiquitously dropped from their then label, Geffen. Their two subsequent records were only available in the UK, but Lava Records finally stepped up and decided to pick up the new record for stateside release… So, now it is finally time for the rest of the world to hear about Embrace.

The album kicks off with the inspirational "Ashes", a track that is sure to leave you feeling that life is good, and that there is nowhere you'd rather be than right here, listening to more music from Embrace. Strong piano drives alongside the rocksteady drumming of Heaton and the powerful tenor of Danny McNamara. "Gravity" was written by Chris Martin from Coldplay, a long time friend of Danny's, and given to Embrace to record at the behest of Martin's wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. The song is beautiful, a slow piano ballad, and leads me to the conclusion that the only thing better than a Coldplay love song is a Coldplay love song performed by Embrace. This track is four and a half minutes of absolute aural bliss. "Looking As You Are" holds the key line "The Devil and the deep blue sea", and is a slower, more relaxed track than some of the others here. Richard McNamara's guitar work is excellent, a divine mix of subtlety and passion. Mickey Dale's keyboards on "A Glorious Day" are akin to a stately music box, and lend the track an almost lullaby feel before it breaks out into its full glory.

Whether or not you've heard an Embrace record before, or heard them through the avenues that many people unknowingly have, now is the time to go out, place your hard earned money on the counter, and get what is probably the greatest British record of the year. You owe it to yourself to give you the best music there is out there, right? Get moving.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Ashes
2. Gravity
3. Someday
4. Looking As You Are
5. Wish 'Em All Away
6. Keeping
7. Spell It Out
8. A Glorious Day
9. Near Life
10. Out Of Nothing

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