Leeds Music Scene

Gravity EP by Embrace

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Reviewed on 14th August 2004.


Gravity EP

By Embrace

A well-made market-pitched record with little of interest for the music fan. The rather Coca Cola Championship song comes from Embrace's good friend Chris Martin. There is an emotional and firmly sung tune with words about . gravity. Pulls on everyone, apparently. It has the pulse of a normally relaxed physically fit person two hours before waking. A piano plays obvious chords in a one two one two one two busking style beloved of bands who don't play piano. A steadily rising guitar adds some ebow and a bit of a suppressed roar towards the end and the bass and drums do a holding job and stay well out of the way. The video has freshly shampooed hair and some soft-focus friendliness drifting in and out of the studio as the band forget all about multi-tracking, monitors, properly screened vocal mikes or other helpful technicalities. If only. Wrath would die of shame to push out such a klutz. But is in wide-screen format.

Complete pap basically. But still far better than the majority of chart records and well-deserving of a top ten placing throughout September as 17 year-old girls say good-bye to their 18 year old boy friends setting off for University. I wouldn't turn it off, but then I probably wouldn't notice it was on. There are versions of the CD with other tracks. The Chris Martin tune is the headline grabber though. Good luck with it lads!

And get your cynical selves down to HMV in Leeds on Monday 13th September at 5.30pm where the band will be setting up to play live and to sign the full album from which the single is taken. They will undoubtedly outshine much of the local talent playing that night in Leeds, however much I might mock. You will need to get down first thing in the morning for a pair of lucky wrist bands. Queue overnight if your Mum, the police and the psychiatric services let you.



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On 16th August 2004 at 00:17 Anonymous 3048 wrote...

What an absolute waste of a review. This coming from a man that condones Samsa, who just sound like a terribly imitated Muse.

Embrace have plugged away for years with no real recognition. Sorry to inform you Sam Saunders but your review will have no bearing on the thousands of people that buy this single...not including people on or involved with Wrath (including those that don't admit buying it because it suddenly won't seem "cool" to).



On 16th August 2004 at 01:34 Anonymous 1200 wrote...

I don't get how you can give it such a terrible review and then give it 3.5 stars? Should I just deduct a star from all Sam S reviews? I know you don't care about the stars, but it's weird that you give them 3.5, then give something you absolutely rave about 4.5.

It detracts from the high-scorers: if you give someone 5, and I think you "over-star", then I assume it's really a 4.

From this review I would have said 1 or 2 would be appropriate. 2.5 is half-marks, and you clearly believe this to be below average.

This is an important issue. For the sake of human decency, justice in an unfair world, and simply for the innocent children upon whom all of our futures depend, please for god's sake let this insanity end now.


On 16th August 2004 at 07:39 Anonymous 13 wrote...

You're both right. It's a very simple, well made record which will appeal to its audience. Hence 3.5 stars. But neither Embrace nor their audience will give a fig about my review. As someone who has listened closely to a lot of music over many years I had to report that it is a very dull piece of work that sounds calculated rather than creatively urgent. So I did.

On the other issue, a review of a recording by a band like Samsa must take into account the resources, experience and ambition of the band. Ditto a review of a band like Embrace. The differences between the resources experiences and ambitions of the two bands are so obvious as to not require explicit referencce. I think a reader needs to bring at least as little intelligence to their reading as was given to the writing.

My guess is that Embrace made music that was even more interesting than Samsa when they were young and hungry. Perhaps they have now decided to concentrate on achieving higher sales and lower musical integrity. The sales will be assured by the mass commercial media to which their stuff is aimed. They don't need accolades from tinpot amateur reviewers like me.


On 16th August 2004 at 07:43 Anonymous 13 wrote...

PS my star system is criterion referenced, not norm referenced. In other words, in a good world all reviews would get five stars. Some weeks I get a pile of great recordings. Some weeks they're all cack. Five stars is five stars. The fact that I find a record boring is no reason to give it a low star rating.


On 16th August 2004 at 10:35 Anonymous 1200 wrote...

I don't understand.

Your first point suggests that you give points for "resources, experience and ambition". Why? Do you give them better/worse marks if they used better quality equipment? Do you count their gigs and multiply it by "the percentage of fire in their eyes"?

Re: you second point: On what "criteria" do you give stars?

P.S. I think your reviews are very good. You generally acheive what is the most difficult thing - you give an honest opinion, then back it up in descriptive fact. It's really hard when you find yourself hating something but can't explain why, which must happen sometimes.

And they're funny too.

But the stars don't tally IMO.


On 16th August 2004 at 11:24 Anonymous 13 wrote...

the writing and the stars are separate issue.

I care about the writng. Not abnout the stars. It isn't worth getting confused. Life and music are unfathomably complex. Do net seek clarity, you will go mad.


On 16th August 2004 at 11:43 Anonymous 251 wrote...

I'd say go with the content of the review over the stars, I often find it tricky getting the stars right.
I wrote a review yesterday which reading back I guess would sound like a 5 star review. Yet I only gave 4 as as much as I thought the CD was great, it wasn't quite that extra special.

Use the stars as a guide by all means but the written content is most important as in a 1 star review you may find something that makes you want to go out and buy the CD. The reverse also applies.


On 1st September 2004 at 21:15 Anonymous 13 wrote...

Looking back, I think it was "upallnight"'s thoughtless comments on this review that helped me decide to stop writing for LMS. Looking at what the person hiding behind that name wrote, I am stll surprised at it's combination of stupidity and bad manners. Comment (even careless or sharply worded comment) is to be expected and should be encouraged. But I write for fun, and if it stops being fun, I can stop.


On 1st September 2004 at 21:26 Anonymous 1944 wrote...

What will you do now with your life?


On 3rd September 2004 at 11:24 Anonymous 30 wrote...

My star system (and it would seam all the reviewers have their own) is a simple one based on my own record collection - as follows: 0/5 - Don't insult me, 1/5 - just very poor and not at all my sort of thing, 2/5 - Poor but I can see where they are going, 3/5 - Above average but with plenty room for improvement for one reason or another i.e. style or content, 4/5 - Good CD I would reccomend listening to but wouldn't necessarily own, 5/5 - Outstanding and going straight into my record collection (This is very rare). I also note that I have the lowest stars average - does that mean I am a tight git or just braver than my LMS colleagues?


On 3rd September 2004 at 11:50 Anonymous 1944 wrote...

You're a tight git


On 3rd September 2004 at 15:41 Anonymous 30 wrote...


At least that's cleared up


On 3rd September 2004 at 15:41 Anonymous 251 wrote...

My star system is something like:

0/5 - Go away and never pick up an instrument again. I have awarded this but Dave always ups it to 1/2 cos he's too nice.
1/5 - Afwul. Just awful.
2/5 - Maybe some good points but just not good enough and lots of things need to be better. Like a good song.
3/5 - Good, I would probably buy this.
4/5 - Excellent, loving it but still room to improve into the ascendency of heaven.
5/5 - If you don't own this CD you are a cock. A big sweaty cock, so just go buy it!


On 4th September 2004 at 11:13 Anonymous 13 wrote...

re: Embrace single reviewing

LMS 15 August 2004

"well-deserving of a top ten placing throughout September as 17 year-old girls say good-bye to their 18 year old boy friends setting off for University."

Another website 3 September 2004

"A must for lovers of emotional music fans everywhere. Leaving loved ones behind for university? Take this number with you."



On 4th September 2004 at 21:13 Anonymous 3048 wrote...

Wow, and how many websites reviewed this.

More importantly, how long did it take you to trawl through and find the above website with similar comments.


On 4th September 2004 at 22:42 Anonymous 13 wrote...

a) No idea
b) One click. I'm a regular reader.



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