Review: Scenery by Emily King

By: Alvindra |

Emily King was once regarded as the next big thing in R&B and Soul scene. Right after she released her first album, East Side Story in 2007, which she got a Grammys nomination for, she toured with John Legend and opened for the likes of Nas, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, and Chaka Khan. However, in 2008, she parted away from her label which led to the demise of her career. A decade later she released her third studio album, Scenery.

Scenery revolves around Emily’s memory of a certain someone/something, and the flow of the album serenades us with sparks of her memory up to the point of realization that they are gone now. This may be reflective of Emily moving from downtown New York to the rural Catskills. The album opens with Synth R&B track “Remind Me” where she sings about longing for something from the past. The album proceeds with sparks of many different memories in each track. South Asian sound influenced track “Can’t Hold Me” deals with self realization captured perfectly in the lyrics “Stay home, baby, I can hold it down / Ooh-wa, you can’t hold me / Now I don’t have to look no more / I’m the one that I’ve been waiting for”. Classic Rock influenced single “Look At Me Now” expresses her frustration towards an ex lover who has gone a separate way. Tracks “Blue Light”, “Forgiveness”, and “Running” capture an episode of her life where she experienced a passionate relationship that was about to fall apart, emphasizing on lyrics like “You make me beg for forgiveness / I just can’t stay in your presence / Without making bad decisions” and “And does he know what it’s like to be captured? / ‘Cause I don’t and I’ll keep it that way / It’s a feeling of freedom I’m after, and I hope I find it someday”. “Interludes (What Love Is)” is a turning point where Emily snaps back to reality, realizing that all of it was in the past. 80s Pop influenced R&B track “2nd Guess” takes a more “relieving the past” point of view on her memories. The last track off Scenery, “Go Back” saw her entering the state of acceptance, highlighted by the lyrics “Ooh, I can’t expect to find a feeling like that again / No, I won’t pretend / Oh, I know there’s something waiting down this road ahead / I’ll find it in the end”.

Overall, Scenery is a very solid album that is both lyrically beautiful and sonically pleasing. Emily’s soft tone is a perfect match for her nostalgic introspective lyrics. Even without any features, which have become a staple in current R&B scene, Scenery doesn’t fail to create an amusing soundscape that makes you want to go back to the first minute every time you finish the album. A very recommended project for people who enjoy R&B in general. Notable tracks include “Remind Me”, “Can’t Hold Me”, “Look At Me Now”, “Running”, and “2nd Guess”. Hopefully Scenery can be the starting point of Emily’s career resurgence.

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