Emmy The Great – First Love
9) Emmy The Great – First Love
This album has elbowed its way into my top ten by sheer nagging persistence. I didn’t think I liked it very much when I bought it – too overwrought, I thought – but its songs are still floating around my head in December, so it deserves its place.
Emmy’s idea was a clever, if slightly self-indulgent one – to chart the collapse of her first proper relationship. From pregnancy scares to wistfulness-inducing mix tapes, it’s all here, and her lyrics are clever, the folky arrangements pretty and sparse.
But some nitpicking niggles still remain, mainly because I’ve had these songs since they were children and expected great things of them. The re-recorded version of “Easter Parade” left me cold where it once left me in tears, and I still prefer the demo of MIA (“her name was either Mia… or M.I.A”. I wasn’t sure either) to the album version*. But 24 is fun – “the man on the screen has achieved more in a minute than you will in your whole entire life” – and there’s enough loveliness to make up for the occasional staginess of the lyrical situations.
Perhaps it’s good she finally got these songs out of her system: my advice to Emmy now would be to a commune, do lots of mushrooms and write a concept album about space lizards.
* I made the same mistake with Long Blondes. A CDR of their first four EPs still works better as an album than the album does. If you see what I mean.