Emoh





So who exactly decided that hardcore bands should be called “emo”? Whoever sent out that memo obviously never listened to any of Lou Barlow’s albums. With his new album Emoh, Barlow shows the rock youngsters that it comes from the heart, not from thrashing guitars. This marks his first true solo album, and comes at a point in his career where his songwriting and musicianship has never been better. His years with Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and Folk Implosion have been building to this album, and fans of Barlow will be quite satisfied. The overall sound of the record is acoustic, keeping the focus on his vocals and keen ear for melody. The first standout track is “Home”, which is filled with Barlow’s warm vocals over rumbling, train-like percussion. “Caterpillar Girl” features a bouncing bassline and catchy chorus that is reminiscent of Folk Implosion. “If I Could” is one of the most addictive songs on the record, giving us classic Lou lyrics over the gentle percussive thumping of a single drum. It is impossible to overlook his cover of Ratt’s “Round And Round”. Yes, he did a folk cover of a Ratt tune. Bring on the rock! “Puzzle” is another warm, acoustic gem slathered in cello. In fact, it is this warm sound that may startle a few of his fans, as his typical lo-fi sound is nowhere to be found on Emoh. In my honest opinion, this is Barlow’s best work since Sebadoh’s Harmacy. The clean, honest simplicity of this record is proof that less is more. Mr. Barlow reminds us that emotional music is about the songs, not your image, and nobody does it better than Lou. Oh yeah, and the title is “home” spelled backwards.

Lou Barlow
Merge

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Emoh