Tuesday, August 31, 2010 , Updated 12:00 a.m., September 7, 2010
Album review: Proof by Emily Elbert
Dallas’s own Emily Elbert strikes again with a new album full of soul and southern twang, and here’s the Proof.
You can also see a cool video about making the album here.
Emily Elbert started off on the bright side of things with her debut album Bright Side back in 2006. It was a cheery album full of heart-pounding happiness and nature, and she was only 17 years old. Her new album Proof has a completely different feel.
While the production of the first album was simple, Proof is anything but. The album has pianos, cellos, and even bongos and shakers. It has a nice blend of many influential styles of music, including southern blues, reggae, and some good old-fashioned soul. I guess it’s safe to say that Proof, which has 12 tracks, is a highly diverse album.
So what makes this album even more special? It has shown us a side we have never seen before from a girl we thought we knew. She’s in her prime (now at 21), her lyrics have matured, and so has her voice, which she utilizes to hit some pretty highs and still keep a perfect tone. In addition, she’s a self-taught guitarist who knows how to slap the guitar and hit impressive chord progressions. She’s like the love child of Norah Jones and Jason Mraz.
Emily Elbert -- "Do Without"Press play to hear Emily Elbert's "Do Without"
Proof is an album of love, moving on, and self-realization. It seems her recent years studying at Berklee College of Music have given her more experiences to write about. It’s hard to explain how strong her voice really is. It’s soft but not too soft, and it still embodies so much soul. “When Things Don’t go Quite as Planned” has a really smooth rhythm; it’s almost Hawaiian, and Elbert’s vocals are seductive. I just imagine her shoeless sitting in the sand with candles around her, playing for a group of romancing vacationers at a resort. Her song is reminiscent of "Bella Luna" by Mraz.
1. In the Summertime
2. Do Without
4. Brandy in the Summertime
5. Not a Fool
6. To Stave Alive in the World
7. Another Faded Love
9. When Things Don’t go Quite as Planned
10. Memories in Rhyme
11. Thinking Hybrid
12. Tightrope Walk
In “Not a Fool,” you can really feel her heartache. Elbert sings about the coldness that has grown between two lovers: “We said that we would be good friends/but your shoulder turned cold/and your arms just let go/and found someone else instead.” Then we feel her progression from heartache to self-realization. In the song “Do Without,” she delivers a nice balance of personal sentiment without being weepy.
Elbert incorporates some great southern twists into the album as well. Songs like “Brandy in the Summertime” and “Proof” bring out the Texan side of Elbert. “Brandy in the Summertime” is the kind of song that has your head nodding and your toes tapping, and she reminds us that simple lyrics and a little twang go a long way.
Proof is a feel-good album that can be listened to from beginning to end without getting bored. Sometimes that isn’t the case with singer/songwriters. Elbert, however, has managed to keep each song unique and diverse, and it's worth your listen.