Emma Pollock - Watch The Fireworks

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Written By:

Gavin Riley

17th September 2007
At 02:09 GMT

1 comment(s)

The amount of times you'll have read a story about the Delgados being critically acclaimed, yet lacking commercial success would probably compare well with the number of times NME have proclaimed they've discovered the hottest new band since Oasis.

Yet, instead of moping around, Emma Pollock, singer/owner/frontwoman of all things The Delgados, has taken the plunge and released an album by herself that should just about allow her to dip her toes in the waters of commercial success.

If, however, you were to listen to just the first track off 'Watch The Fireworks', you'd be forgiven for thinking this reviewer was suffering from a Hogmanay hangover.

Opener 'New Land' is a throwback to just about any track off the 'Great Eastern' LP, with the trademark piano, stretched voice, and a crisp hook to boot.

This changes though, with the singles, 'Acid Test' and 'Adrenaline'. The latter marks a steep departure from previous ventures, with Pollock combining her pitch perfect voice with a pounding piano arpeggio that instantly demands your attention.

The rest of the album shines because of its unpredictability. 'Paper And Glue' is a prime example. A track so spectacularly perfect both musically and lyrically, you never know what to expect as Pollock looks both toward the future, and back at the past: "Everything looks so good from here / Living out a dream I've had for a year..../ I was sure I moved to heaven but the feeling didn't last / I've never been forgiven for the things done in the past"..

The final track 'The Optimist' is very reminiscent of Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) and other female popstars with guitars, and its to be hoped that Emma Pollock doesn't go down that path, as the indie pop market is well and truly covered. It would be a shame if she ever got compared to KT Tunstall for instance.

No one ever doubted Pollock's musical ability, despite confessing to hardly playing the piano before this album, she's never been short of a melody or two. But now she's proved herself in every aspect as one of Britain's top writers.

'Watch The Fireworks' will please the myriad of Delgados fans, and will gain her plenty of fresh admirers too. Let's just hope ten years down the line we aren't lamenting the lack of commercial success for Pollock, but praising her for doing what the Delgados couldn't.

Rating:  8 / 10

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