The album’s stylistic balance tilts in Dessner’s favor, which may mean that All this emotion sounds like Taylor Swift’s folklore sounds like Eve Owen’s Do not let the ink dry sound like The problem will find me. The one-size-fits-all approach leads to occasional clashes, like on “Easy,” where Georgas’s modest soft-rock chorus awkwardly sits on Dessner’s tough crescendos. Even so, Dessner and engineer Jonathan Low keep the production immersive enough that the deviations are easy to ignore. Georgas and Dessner’s most successful synthesis is hidden at the end: “Habits” flies off in a way the rest of the album actively avoids. It’s still a classic slow build, but the harmonies and squeaks of guitar create the same drunken feel that drives Dessner’s most lavish productions.
With Dessner manipulating the music, Georgas defines himself through his internal monologues. “I don’t want to hold you back,” she sings on “Change,” claiming that because “love is change,” there’s no reason to stay if a relationship gets strained. “Someone I don’t know” deepens the expected feeling, wanting an ex to become unrecognizable: “One day, I’ll get over it… You will become something that I forgot. “Punching Bag,” a song that sort of mixes the fear of Radiohead’s “Idioteque” with Alanis Morrissette’s chatty “Front Row”, takes the tension to a logical extreme. Although Georgas sings about the need to “save” someone, the underlying lyrics reveal his ambivalence: “I take you for a walk in a place that means so much to me / And go get your hand to hold you and you yourself. move away immediately. ” This is the only moment on the album that seems really surprising.
By emphasizing quiet beauty in all aspects of its production, All this emotion lacks the strangest and most fascinating elements of Georgas’ early music. The Casio SK-1 Homestar Runner the drums of “Bang Bang You’re Dead” or the distortion of “Enemies” would be welcome on this record. Although Emotion is refined, nor is it any different from Dessner’s other production work – it’s always musically reluctant, covered in fog. Its clarity comes from Georgas’ ability to process how she feels, and spending 40 minutes in her head as she takes it right doesn’t seem to suffocate. There is always a sufficient reason, poignant insight or complex guitar line, to stay.
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