Album Review: Emma Blackery's 'Villains'

Written by Glynn Aiden Bailey

28 Aug 2018

Essex-born YouTube star Emma Blackery and her brand have no limits. With the upcoming release of her full-length album, Villains, Blackery debuts her new sleek electro-pop sound - it’s a change, but we like it.

Emma Blackery is no stranger to the music scene, in fact, Blackery has several successful EPs under her belt including Magnetised, Distance and Perfect. Now, without a label and completely off of her own back, Blackery is releasing her debut album, Villains, on August 31st.

The album starts with ‘Villains PT I’. A dark pop intro that uses breathy vocals to emphasise lyrics that reveal a potential revenge narrative, ‘I became possessed and obsessed / with the idea of revenge’. Track two, ‘Dirt’ was released as the lead single. It didn’t come without fans arguing that it was a sad departure from Blackery’s original sound, however, the song needs no protection as the pop-current backing track, mixed with angsty lyrics solidifies it as a winning track on the album. ‘Fake Friends’ is a synth-pop success with an 80’s influence that asserts itself as a dance track. Blackery’s vocals rise to meet the beat in a breakdown moment about trust, ‘You don’t trust me / and I don’t trust you’.

In a sudden twist, Blackery brings forward ‘Icarus’ which swiftly departs from the album’s typical upbeat tempo. Based on the mythological tale, ‘Icarus’ is a song that you can interpret in many ways, but it sounds as if Blackery is singing about how she, herself, flew too close to the sun. Sonically, the track is a marvel. The backing violin creates a rise in the verse and when it reaches the chorus, it mimics the fall of Icarus himself. ‘Take Me Out’ is the artist’s battle cry. Her heavy vocals dominate the verses and charge head first into the beat of the chorus. ‘How you gonna take me out / you are the liar / I am the fire’. The lyrics show Blackery’s brute strength, and her unwillingness to back down. It’s powerful, resilient, and a statement song. Track seven gives us ‘Petty’. The backing track dances with a tropical house inspired beat, whilst the lyrics follow the theme of reclaiming negative perceptions. If Villains has an anthem, it is definitely this song.

As the album comes to a close, ‘Burn the Witch’ precedes the final song, depicting the destruction of Emma Blackery’s character as a ‘witch hunt’. The slow verses contrast the hard-hitting chorus that gives the artist another strong contender in the fight for the best song on the album. Villains’ final track is PT. 2 of the titular song. In this explosive closer, Emma explores the part she played in her own downfall, ‘self-sabotage ‘til the end / if I could do it again / what would I change?’ It’s a contemplative track that leaves you thinking a little after the song is over.

For a debut album Emma Blackery has exceeded all expectations. Villains trades in her old pop-punk influenced style for a slick electro-pop album with witty lyrics and catchy singles that you’ll have on repeat.

Edited by Zoya Raza-Sheikh |


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