working towards an intellectual understanding of booty chatter.

lunes, julio 10, 2006

emo lane: summer goes on.

THE ANNIVERSARY broke up in 2004 but continue to gain a following as their albums Designing For A Nervous Breakdown and Your Majesty are passed down from emo kid to emo kid...or more accurately, file sharing system to emo kid. In my "emo" phase, I scrounged through servers to find new tunes. I would download album after album of artists listed as "emo", only hanging on to the few that satisfied my ears immediately. Eventually my obsession ended, and I deleted most of the albums. Designing A Nervous Breakdown is one of few full albums still kicking after the great deletion of 2004. Why? Despite several songs being remarkably similar, I can still listen to the album to this day.'s whiney, melodramatic, and everything you expect from emo, but something about the instrumentation and male/female duel vocals made The Anniversary stand out among other emo acts.

In fact, the simple inclusion of female vocals makes them stand out. Emo is a heavily male-dominated genre for several reasons. The ladies are left voiceless. Even if a girl wanted to sing emo, she'd have to declare that she's "emo" and therefore look like a total poser who's trying too hard. Otherwise, her "emo" music would be labeled as chick rock or lesbian music. The reason males dominate the genre is because of the limitations of the word and gender norms. Men are expected to bottle up their emotions and suck it up, but when they let 'em out...whether they like it or not, a scarlet E is slapped onto their breasts. When women express their emotions musically, society says they're just being women. Am I wrong to say that? Because I said it.

In any case, it's awfully refreshing to hear Adrianne Verhoeven's smooth vocals flawlessly blending with the male vocals of the album. Her work on the keyboard is what makes the sound of The Anniversary so unique. Without her, there would be no band. In this sense, she's one of the first ladies of emo. None have come close to taking her thrown, other than Michelle Nolan of Straylight Run...but we'll talk about her later.


BUY Designing A Nervous Breakdown

CORRECTION: My emo expert friend has corrected me that there is a popular emo band with a female lead singer, Paramore. Perhaps I shall look into them.

BLOGWATCH: Later, I'm sleepy!

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