Emma Blackery pours out her feelings and opinions about everybody that did her wrong as well as her struggles as an artist on “Girl In A Box” but does she still brings her catchy energy.
Surprisingly even through Emma has been making music for almost a decade, this is only her second studio album.
The first two tracks already show how the album focuses on darker subject matter, with opening track “Brutus” revolving around betrayal by friends (as the title suggests) and “Ridicule” describing a toxic relationship and the aftermath when the protagonist finally gets out of it. On both tracks it seems that Emma has traded her catchy pop rock for just as catchy but darker synthpop.
“How Soon Is Now?” (originally by “The Smiths”) keeps fitting with the dark vibe of the album and gives Emma her incredibly vocals a place to shine. As the lyrics are not written by Emma, I can’t say how they fit into the albums’ narrative but according to Emma herself they describe living in the public eye.
Continuing the albums trend of the protagonist standing up for them self, the next song “More Fool Me” focuses on that standing up for yourself. Unlike the first two songs, the instrumentals are dark, giving the whole a dreamy and eerie vibe. “Take What You Want” contrast both sonically and lyrically with the other songs, with more poppy vibes and lyrics focusing on forgiving.
Next is my favorite song of the album “Crying” which focuses on Emma dealing with her depression and emotions while also being in the public eye, as well as focusing on the comments of being ungrateful for her success because she isn’t happy all the time. (the theme kind of matches with that of “Waterparks” “Lowkey As Hell”)
My terms has deviates from the albums sound entirely and goes into a country inspired direction, at least that’s the vibe I get from it. This is again a track where Emma her vocals take the spotlight.
With “Shadowplay” Emma builds on the sound she introduced with her earlier release villains. The hooks make this one an earworm and form a contrast with the dreamier side of the album. Lyrically the song is about fame and the toll it can take on someone, as well as the perspective of art vs money.
“Strange People” gives up an R&B vibe, but also a darker pop vibe, again it is nice that things change up, and with the risk of sounding like a broken record, Emma her vocals really shine with that being said, the song feels out of place on the album and I don’t feel the connection with the other songs, besides the lyrical content.
“End Of The Night” is also the end of the album and an absolute Synthpop banger, lyrically the song shifts its focus from does who did the protagonist wrong and instead brings an ode to those who stand by her.
It takes guts to poor out ones soul, like Emma has done on this album with the songs mostly revolving around low points in her life. These stories are mostly paired with vocals and instrumentals that are fitting to them and it seems that Emma has found a new sound to make her own, with the album still having it’s experiments, which do not always work out. Still I would recommend you listen to this album one’s and pay attention to it’s overall feel.
Songs of “Girl In A Box” you should check out!
“How Soon Is Now?”