Emm Gryner - Northern Gospel
Some things we Canadians take for granted. Hockey season will bring everything to a standstill, it will be cold in February, black flies will swarm us in June, and any new Emm Gryner album will be good. Well, the last one proves to be true as Gryner releases her new studio album Northern Gospel.
The obvious standout is the opening number "Ciao Monday". The delightfully catchy song deserves a spot next to other odes to that day like "Manic Monday" and "I Don't Like Mondays".
She's got a few new tricks up her sleeve this time around too. A Casio groove pumps up the sunny "Last Day On Earth". "Fast Exit", meanwhile, is a no nonsense full-bodied rocker. The intro to "Ageless" sounds vaguely reminiscent of the verse arrangements in "Baba O'Reilly".
What Gryner is known for though are her piano-based ballads. Northern Gospel has its share of those too. "North" and "Home" are fairly standard Gryner entries. However, she's rarely hit the level of gravitas we get with "A Little War". The album closer "Transatlantic" adds a twist with some effects, creating an ethereal experience.
Vocally, Gryner, as always, swings between powerful and melodic. It all comes together best on the warm and, I hesitate to say, adorable "Heartsleeves".
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