"Embrace" is the eponymously titled sixth studio album by English alternative rock band Embrace. The album, self-produced by Richard McNamara, was released on 25 April 2014 in Friday-release countries and on 28 April 2014 in the United Kingdom by independent record label Cooking Vinyl. The album is the band's first in eight years, after the release of their fifth studio album This New Day in 2006. It went to number 5 in the UK charts.
Embrace’s old calling cards - mammoth, bellow-along choruses and a lyrical blend of vulnerability and bluster - remain intact on their sixth album.
The familiar-sounding “In The End” and “I Run” will appease long-time fans without difficulty. But there’s plenty else that marks a major departure from Embrace 1.0 too. “Follow You Home” avails itself of the synthesized sweep that characterized old pals Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, while Danny’s manipulated vocals on “Refugees” are nigh- unrecognisable . The Edge-style guitar delay effects dominate “At Once” and “A Thief On My Island”, and the riff on “Self Attack Mechanism” sounds like something off Elastica’s first album. “Quarters” –blimey, and this just goes to show we’re a long, long way from ‘All You Good Good People’ - finds McNamara attempting a falsetto over pounding club beats.
Embrace’s modus operandi remains a commercially viable one, even if it does remain slightly surreal to be discussing a group that got its break opening for Longpigs and Travis. Despite the curveballs and their extended break from the biz, the band’s phasers remain set to festival-primed, punch-the-air anthemic bravado, a formula as solid today as it was in their early feted period. Don’t count against a loyal long-term fanbase thrusting Embrace back into the limelight.
Reviewed by Matt Tomiak for thelineofbestfit.com.