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5/10 according to Clinton (Norman Records staff) on Thu 13 Feb, 2014
They are back. As the plethora of reviews that have littered our website over the past few weeks show, Embrace have a huge following who are really pleased to see the band back making music again.... or their record company is using our open site as a marketing device which, if true, in the fairness of things is not really on. We can always fucking delete them.
Contrary to what you may think, we at the towers have nothing against Embrace or any bands furrowing a slightly more polished path than the grimy music that spins on our filthy turntable. However, we are duty bound to give a balanced take on what you may expect if you swap your hard earned cash for this four track 12”. Opener ‘Refugees’ opens with some Coldplay style haunting piano stabs, the falsetto vocals which emerge are heavily autotuned for which there is really no need in this or any music to be honest. It bursts into an enormous windswept chorus with lots of U2 like guitar trills and a vocal which sounds like it emerged out of a piece of sandpaper. The track itself melodically is not too bad, not unlike one of the more blustery latter day Take That or Keane enormo-ballads.
‘Chameleon’ has some seemingly out of place housey synth stabs which at least provide a bit of colour, they seem to be pursuing a more electronic direction on this - like Oasis produced by SBTRKT. ‘Decades’ is full on 80’s stadium rock like late era M83 performing a Then Jericho song in a wind tunnel. Its massive. The problem Embrace will always have though as exemplified by closing weep-rocker ‘Bullets’, is that Danny McNamara’s voice just doesn’t provide any kind of character or interest in the way even someone as nondescript as Chris Martin manages to.
Its not music I’d particularly ever want to hear again but if you are a fan then it contains all the requisite ingredients that you are probably after and I'm liking the old school 4 track 12” format.
10/10 according to Ian D (customer) on 23rd January 2014
Amazing comeback single from one of the best bands to emerge from the 90's...and still be going!! If this is the bar they've set for the album, the album of the year arrives on 28th April!!!
10/10 according to jeanettehatton (customer) on 23rd January 2014
it's been a long time coming...but nearly 7 years was worth the wait, a fantastic song. great to hear both brothers singing on it. glad they came back to what they know! :)
10/10 according to Tina Brocklebank (customer) on 23rd January 2014
This is an absolutely cracking tune...Embrace are back big time! I can't wait to hear their album "Embrace" due in April. This is such an uplifting song, gives me goosebumps every time I hear it :)LOVE IT!
10/10 according to Hewens (customer) on 23rd January 2014
When I first heard that Embrace were returning with a new sound my heart sunk a little. I loved Embrace and who they were, I didn't want them to change, especially after 7 years of waiting. How wrong I was to doubt them. What an amazing single to come back with. I've been lucky enough to have heard some of the other material on the new album and it is different... It's better. I predict great things for 2014, if you hadn't heard of Embrace, you are about to.
10/10 according to abi tupman (customer) on 23rd January 2014
This song is just amazing, I listen to it at least twice a day and can't see me ever not wanting to listen to it!
10/10 according to Gingawarri0r (customer) on 23rd January 2014
A fine return to form. Instantly recognisable, but infinitely different from previous releases. The future bodes well.
10/10 according to bettyg (customer) on 23rd January 2014
After a 7 year hiatus Embrace are back... and how!! This track is an anthem for a new generation- its dark lyrics and pounding beat, coupled with Richard Mcnamara's heartfelt lead vocals bring Embrace crashing back to form. Triumphant return for the Yorkshire lads. Maybe this time The Goodwill Out
10/10 according to Sonia Foo (customer) on 23rd January 2014
It has seemed a long 7years plus, but the wait has been so worth it! Embrace are a band who cares passionately for the music they create and they are back with a sound that blows you away! Stronger, more haunting yet exciting beyond words...........Refugees is a gorgeous song and we eagerly await the album EMBRACE!
10/10 according to Julian Lennon (customer) on 23rd January 2014
To disappear from the public eye for almost eight years, only to return to the fold with fresh material, weathered but dynamic faces, and a promise to deliver an album that surpasses the very album that skyrocketted them to stardom in the first place, is a big mission for any band today. In "Refugees", we are treated to a glimpse of the shape of things to come from a band that have weathered several storms throughout their career, but always fought their way back to greatness. "The Good Will Out" set an incredibly high bar that they have, by their own admission, been trying to surpass before they released any more new material (I'm probably not alone in thinking that they raised their game quite stunningly with "Out of Nothing"). With the imminent release of their new, self-titled album "Embrace", we are treated to "Refugees". With the opening drum loop, resembling a very tacky heartbeat, and the simple but haunting keyboards, we are soon greeted by the unfamiliar lead vocals of Richard McNamara- a risky move for the band whose sound is so well-characterized by the emollient, seductive vocals of his older brother Danny (Who sings later in the track). It's a gutsy move, but one that's paid off; Richard McNamara has an excellent, dynamic voice that injects a different energy into this prodigal troupe of Yorkshiremen. It's obvious from the outset that we may have to forget what we know of the Embrace we have come to know and love; no imminent signs of the graceful ballads and string sections. No fresh-faced optimism, implicit in "It's a break from the swill, the piss they distill around here". I certainly don't want to live wherever that is. Or maybe we already do? "Refugees" marks the return of a band that have completely redefined themselves, and their music. Few bands successfully do that. Enjoy this glimpse, because Embrace are going global with this one. Welcome back chaps. Don't leave it as long next time.
9/10 according to Ian A (customer) on 23rd January 2014
I cannot believe that I will see Embrace live again after all this time with music better than before. There are good bands and great bands that produce great music, Embrace are the latter!
8/10 according to Fran (customer) on 23rd January 2014
I cannot stop playing this song, it's pure genius. Embrace are back and in fine form.
10/10 according to Lindsay Hadfield (customer) on 24th January 2014
Embrace provided the soundtrack to my amazing but turbulent 20's. I thought I knew it all but was actually finding myself. I feel Embrace did a lot of finding themselves through their music over the years. My life is different now I'm in my 30's, better. And once again Embrace hit the spot. This new track is fresh, confident, inspired. Grown up even. It's Embrace but different. Better. I love it. Thrilled to hear you're back guys, can't wait to hear more! x
10/10 according to jeff mcnamara (customer) on 24th January 2014
What a fantastic return from the McNamara brothers. Refugees the 1st single from the new album written and produced by the younger of the McNamara brothers namely Richard. He Also takes lead vocals on refugees. It sounds fresh modern and up to date and dark. I never understood why embrace never became a global success. That going change now with the new material. World domination awaits.
10/10 according to Jayne P (customer) on 28th January 2014
After a long wait, the teasing is over. Secret gigs, teasing video clips with snippets of music giving a hint of what was to come, it is finally here. Refugees is a daring comeback single and it works, it really works. It is simply brilliant and if it is a true taster of what is to come then fans old and new will be in for a treat!!
1/10 according to Martin (customer) on 27th March 2014
What a load of crap! Only heard Refugees off the EP which was one track too many and was more cheesy than the four cheese pizza I had for my tea! I can't believe this has got so many 10/10 ratings it looks a bit suspect to me, especially when you look at the names of some of the authors! Utter garbage!
So, what do you think?
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Refugees EP by Embrace. Vinyl 12". FRYEP560.
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