Emery - The Question (Cover Artwork)


The Question (2005)

Tooth & Nail

The Question. Yes, Emery's 2005 effort is surely questionable. While it is a step up from their 2003 realease, The Weak's End, now that Emery has put more power into their songs and improved their lyric-writing abilities greatly since then, the record remains questionable now that it's drowning along with the many other bands who entered this crowded genre of music just a bit too late. You can either place bands in the "total clichéd screaming here and there" part of the genre, or form the opinion the band has actually released a solid effort that carries what emo was meant to do. And that, as the name implies, is to carry emotion. Now, very few bands of this era can do what the pioneers of emo did: Fill the songs with emotions and to actually leave a gasped face on the listener (on my personal opinion, Alexisonfire manages to do this very well). The Question is almost there, but not quite there yet.

The album's opening track, "So Cold You Can See My Breath," starts off as a fast track to get the listener interested, and it does this very well; even the screams at some points in the song seem very well-placed. This is a great way to start off the CD, though the lyrics aren't the strongest of the record. However, unlike their past effort, the energy stays throughout most of the album. Emery's screamer forces his screams a lot more on this album, and yeah, screaming is the biggest of all emo clichés, but Emery, like very few bands, now knows where to place them to give the final kick. "Returning the Smile You Had from The Start" has the most screams of the entire album, yet it's the most powerful song on the album without sounding forced or fake; it has guitars going up and down and it even has an upbeat acoustic outro which does not sound out of place. "Studying Politics" manages to trance listeners right from the start into an almost anxious or exasperated state of mind, although in the end it goes into a weird techno beat which leaves you thinking "what the fuck was that?" But the rest of the song makes up for it.

As said before, they aren't the most clever lot when it comes to their lyrical content, but it's not mediocre enough to make you think "this is just some other cheesy emo CD that belongs in the Victory records Roster." The vocals on all the songs have a predominant beauty to them, which is hard to find these days, and unlike the last record, they manage to keep them interesting along with their instruments on most of the songs.

Really, Emery are a very talented bunch, and this big step up from The Weak's End very well proves it. The Question remains an emo CD nonetheless, and most people will detest it, but quite frankly, It's one of the best CDs to be put out in this genre and definitely proves the genre still has its charm that seems lost with other bands trying too hard to bring tears to people's eyes.