Album Review | Emma Blackery Battles Villains Throughout Her Debut
Villians, by rising pop star Emma Blackery contains 11-tracks that has been released through RWG Records.
The British singer-songwriter has drastically changed her music abilities and style to now having composed an 11-track electro-pop album.
The multifaceted musician and YouTuber poured her heart out into this body of work. Each single on Villians, tells a different yet similar story about stages Emma went through last summer from being angry, defiant, reflective, to untrusting. They perfectly demonstrate how much her life has changed since stepping out into the public eye.
The album opens with ‘Villains Pt. 1’ and has an atmospheric dropping beat that finds Emma singing, “I am a nightmare designed to destroy.” Her seductively vocals draw the listener in from the first note.
‘Dirt’ is the lead single off Villains, and has a tropical-house, electro-pop production. In the lyrics, Emma describes an ex-friend who disrespects her online and having dirt on them that could potentially destroy their relationship for good. As the song begins, she sings, “I’ve got dirt on you,” a refrain of a bullying tune that a child would snigger in a playground, for example, “I’m better than you.” Although, she had a public online fallout with some people that lead her to leaving social media for sometime, the frustrating feeling and situation inspired the unfortunate event. But as she had time to step back, she found a new sound and wrote about losing faith in online friendships. Going forth, she gained a new perspective on staying present, finding herself, and sharing her experience.
‘Agenda’ has a chilled mix of guitars and electronic instrumentation. Although she gained recognition as a YouTuber, she knows people usually don’t take YouTubers turn musicians very seriously. However, this track proves she doesn’t care because she has the confidence it takes. During the chorus she questions why people don’t like things that make other’s stand out, both personality and trait wise. She sings, “So what are you after? / Don’t you like my colours? / I’m confident, I know it scares ya, scares ya / Bye-bye, good riddance / The rules have been rewritten / I’m better without you, and that’s the truth / I’m not part of your agenda.” It’s a sharp and bold pop anthem seeing her celebrate herself, finding self-confidence and forgetting those who don’t appreciate her.
‘Fake Friends’ finds Emma calling someone out. She tells “you like the drama,” over an electronic instrumental. The rivalry is still visible, and she knows she isn’t innocent either, but agrees that they both have nothing worthy of saying, so it’s best to move on.
‘Icarus’ sees Emma taking the high road rather than retaliating on those who try to fight against her. The soft, tropical-electronic beat smoothly appears under her voice.
“They turn your words into something you didn’t pronounce,” Emma reveals on ‘Take Me Out’. “You are the liar / I am the fire,” she sings on the chorus then wondering how the said friends will take her out. She continues, “I put these walls up questioning the motives of my friends,” she doesn’t trust anyone anymore as her so-called friends broke her trust.
The flirty tropical-house track ‘Petty’ finds Emma singing, “You used to call me pretty / til you took out the R.”
‘Third Eye’ hits straight into a busy instrumental. “Couldn’t keep this message to yourself / Sounded like a cry for help,” Emma opens the song singing in a flavourful way. Although the situation feels almost like dejá vú, she has gotten smart to know the warning signs of the ones who go up against her. She learned each lesson the hard way, but now sees through her ‘third eye’.
‘What I Felt With You’ is a heartfelt vocal ballad that simmers sadness and longing.
“You got me deep just like they say you would,” Emma sings on ‘Burn The Witch’, which has a fun vibe to it.
As the album comes to a close, ‘Villain Pt. 2’ sees Emma considering her own part in the storyline downfall. She questions, “Am I kidding myself, blaming somebody else, I’m my own biggest villain,” over an explosive instrumental that perfectly fits the record.
Although it appears Emma has experienced a lot of failures and tragedies, she remains unfazed and knows not to dwell on these situations that will not bring her anything but negative feelings.
Villians, is produced by Toby Scott, who has worked with artists like Little Mix, Girls Aloud, and The Saturdays.
Emma Blackery released her debut EP Human Behaviour, back in 2012 and initially created her YouTube channel to promote her music. This lead her to release her follow-up EP Distance, the following year, and it reached NO. 1 on the iTunes Rock Chart. In 2014, while gaining more recognition as an artist, she released her third EP Perfect. In 2016, Sucks To Be You, her fourth EP came out, and a while after the release she announced that she would be touring with pop-punk band Busted on their Pigs Can Fly Tour. Magnetised, her fifth and final EP before the release of her debut album Villains, was released in 2017.