Emma Stevens: Waves

review stevens x1 cong

All those people buying “music” by X Factor Cowell clones should stop what they’re doing and buy this instead.
Stevens is talented: she started playing guitar as a nipper, had cello and piano lessons, joined the Surrey Youth Orchestra and started songwriting at 13 or so. She’s so talented she helps out the less able telly-famers: she wrote and performed on Britain’s Got Talent finalist Andrew Muir’s debut album, and wrote the lyrics to Can’t Say That It’s Over. You’ve probably forgotten him and it now.

This, her second album, is pure, infectious pop and while it’s not exactly the Review Corner’s cup of tea, it’s really good, and with a depth and quality that commercially manufactured bands just don’t have. We find it a little bland in places but this isn’t true all the way through: opener So Stop The World is a good, bouncy pop tune with banjo picking giving it a distinctiveness (as does the later song Yes).

Track two Make My Day is another pop gem; it sounds like a chart-topping US band, all slick and radio friendly. Track three Helium is acoustic and bit light, while Bad Habit is another with a US chart-topper feel to it. Gold Rush has a Latino feel to it, though Amy This Is the Life Macdonald also springs to mind.

Of the rest, the slower Shooting The Moon is good: that’s a little poppy for us but Amaretto Kisses, also slow, shows she’s got more grown-up pop tunes in her.

This is a classic pop album and should see sales to match, if she can get past the crowded market of wannabes who’d be honoured if she wrote them a tune. Success in the States is possible, too, given, the radio-friendly nature of it all.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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