After a very long and successful music career spanning for close to a decade and numerous EPs released throughout this period, including a 2020 release of “My Arms Are Open”. The EP explored personal stories of Emma’s life and her growth during her new relationship, following her debut album “Villains”, which went through the topics of feeling betrayed by old friends and the more general struggles of life. It has been 3 years, since “Villains” came out and with the release of a new album, fans are very eager to listen and make their interpretations of the new tracks.
The album clocks in at just under 34 minutes with 10 tracks, exploring many topics, from personal life to being screwed over by old people in her life to being able to move on and become her own boss. The story of the songs is reflected through the album title, as the “Girl in a Box” appears to be a clear reference to Emma feeling trapped in her old parts of life. In addition to the topics explored, each song has a unique sound and has something that will attract people to them. Songs such as “Shadowplay” and “Take What You Want” are more reminiscent of Emma’s previous material and may prove themselves as more accessible to the casual listener. On the other side, the album presents itself with a strong and hard-hitting rock cover of The Smiths’ classic “How Soon Is Now?” for those who may prefer the rock sound. A surprise exists amongst these in the sleeper hit (and seeming fan favourite) “Strange People”, which features samples and Trap beats, underneath Emma’s pop vocals, creating for a very unique and stand-out experience, which may seem shocking, yet is executed excellently, when listening.
The production on the album is very clear and exciting, allowing each song to sound crisp and have its own identity, being easily distinguishable and providing an easy listen, even on the harder and heavier tracks like the aforementioned “How Soon Is Now?” and even the very personal and hard-hitting opening track (which arguably perfectly sets out the atmosphere of the album from the start) “Brutus”.
Personally, having listened to the album multiple times as of writing this, I can safely say my favourite tracks on the record have to be “Brutus”, “More Fool Me” and “Strange People”, which are all worth a listen to those interested in exploring Emma’s music.
You can find the album here, as well as on other streaming services: