[Closet Wanderings sleeve]"Closet Wanderings" (Album, 2009) !DSO Recommended!

Wonderland Records

Now, this is an unusual and interesting mixed bag of influences. Drawing inspiration from disco, Hi-NRG, electropop and mellow electronica, Emmon's second album certainly doesn't lack range, inspiration or enthusiasm.

The playful adoption of potentially guilty pleasures combined with a knack for crafting some undeniably infectious pop songs reminds one of New Order at their most mainstream on several occasions. Subject wise there's all the familiar pop music bases covered, faltering relationships being a recurring theme. This is also lyrically very clever. Take the opening lines from first song Secrets & Lies: "It's been thirty days since you left. But your smell still lingers onto my body. I've been drifting alone on this raft. Counting stars for a time/motion study…" just before bursting into a Hi-NRG chorus! To be able to pull that off, not only requires remarkable imagination and gall, but talent and whilst this might be alarmingly too disco-pop-tastic for many, I honestly cannot help but succumb to its charms.

I'll wager that you've never before considered what a mashup of the music of Telex and the vocals of Abba would sound like (check out Urban Diseases to find out). But now that I've put that very proposition to you, you want to hear the result. If so, then you should buy this album. You won't be disappointed. One line sums it all up quite accurately: "Humming along with the melodies, I was singing to - when my heart was still broken." As much as I am (uncontrollably) still partial to a jaunty Hi-NRG track, the most arresting tracks for me are those that tone down the disco moves, and the more contemplative instrumentals add a more serious dimension to the writing that help set this apart from most of the competition. One such instrumental, the ambient Belarusian Night, is incredibly atmospheric, whilst closer Slow Emotion is a terrifically dreamy way to end proceedings. Closet Wandering contains many moments of joy. 8/10

Rob Dyer (May 2010)

[Rock D'Amour sleeve]"Rock D'Amour" (Single, 2007)

Wonderland Records

Emmon is one Emma Nylén. A Swedish lady signed to Wonderland Records - home of Thermostatic and Universal Poplab - though neither are called upon here. This is the archetypal Wonderland Records single. Take a strong album track and drill it relentlessly with various interpretations. All four tracks here are variations on the Original Version whose unashamedly Salt 'n' Peppa Push It intro rapidly sets out its intentions. The initial bluntness tempered by a late 70s disco diva whispered vocal. There's something mischeviously clever about this track, it grows on you quite sneakily. The Patrick Axelsson RMX strips it back to minimal dance floor beats but again with a 70s disco vibe. Johan Skugge's remix on the other hand chucks in all manner of unexpected blips and glitches, deconstructing what could otherwise have been just another contemporary dance interpretation. Curious stuff. 6/10

Rob Dyer (March, 2008)

See also:
New Order
70s Disco in general

Official website: http://www.emmon.se