At some point do you ever feel like you are too old for a genre of music? I have had those thoughts over the years about emo but always remind myself how I will still turn up the stereo for Sunny Day Real Estate, American Football and The Promise Ring. Flash forward to present day and the music Tiny Engines has been releasing, including the newest album Having It All from Annabel, and I think I have rediscovered the sound.
The band does not necessarily bring anything new to the table of well-seasoned ears but Annabel’s execution, attention to detail and honest emotion will quickly win you over. On songs like “The Fortunate Ones,” the backing vocals ring out in perfect unison as they sing “I’ll never doubt it” with all the passion and heart you could ask for. This interplay between the members is an important key that is the true glue for their song structures. Their musicianship is the secondary component that helps Having It All soar sonically. On “For Years And Years,” the band once again delivers a clear and smooth vocal but its undertone is full of guitars that continually rev up the amps. It is this type of mix that gives Annabel a strength beyond their pop much like Jimmy Eat World did years ago.
I feel like I have passed the point where an Annabel song will lift me up or change my world but I will tell you that this is one of those type records if it fell into the right teenage hands. For us elders of rock, Having It All will make you reflect back on the years in short blips, which means that its songs can hit a nerve. Annabel is definitely a band to keep a watch on as the more contemporary emo scene rises back into the indie spotlight. Having It All is a solid ride all the way through and who knows – it just might spark one of your old school emo nerves as well.
Label: Tiny Engines
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For more of Christopher Anthony’s music reviews, check out The Fire Note
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television