EMERALDS – Just to feel anything (CD Editions Mego)

I guess this could be filed under softrock, or even less respectfully this could be called a superficial release with romantic lovesongs. Just to feel anything, I would regard as Emeralds most mature record as to date, and when listening a few times to it, I also sometimes got the feeling that maybe they should call it their final album. With the evolution they seem to have gone through, from 70’s Kosmische to 80’s electronica, now 90’s (electronic romanticism), and back to Pink Floyd’s early eighties (listen how McGuire sometimes gets carried away), they seem to struggle a bit with finding new directions. For sure they would be valued and recognized for bringing Teutonic synthesizer explorations from the late seventies straight into the first decade of the 21st century.      

The music is unmistakably Emeralds, maybe just not as we know it. Even though there are no typical really long tracks (all are below the 8 minute mark), they managed to process their distinct exercises in a condensed form ; there’s lots of sequencer usage, stretched synthesizer strings combined with McGuire’s intoxicated guitar. Whilst they stay close to their own sound the style now comes close to how New Order sounded on Power, Corruption & Lies.  

One of the tricks this record plays with the listener is that they save the best for last. On the final tracks they fully give in to otherworldliness. ‘Just to feel anything’ builds tension and with ‘Search for me in the wasteland’ they justify their existence again. Now just as I was about to say to forget my reverie on the final Emeralds record, and that I am again looking forward to the next release from the Ohio trio, the internet states that they have separated recently. In their almost 8 years of existence for sure they left for us a legacy to be proud of. Long live Emeralds. PvdG.

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