Artist: Emily West
Album: All For You
Release Date: 08/14/2015
Emily West’s debut album is a haunting blend of heartbreak and majesty. Her pop vocals have country, broadway and jazz twists, accompanied by an impressive vibrato, giving her sound a nostalgic touch of old-school Hollywood.
The overall music production is conceptually ethereal and grand, but is exhaustingly similar all the way through, leaving little room for West to explore her vocal abilities. Having said that, her original song, “Bitter,” is exceptionally well-structured and performed, definitely being one of the standout tracks. The chorus breaks into a folk arrangement, giving the track the hopefulness and optimism it pursues, paralleled with West’s beautiful lyricism. In contrast, the arrangement of Sia’s “Chandelier,” although powerfully sung, has a choppy and awkward arrangement.
The highlights of the album are definitely West’s original songs, and it would have greatly benefited her to have featured more of her original work, following her persona on America’s Got Talent was as the singer/songwriter who deserves a second chance. “Glorianna” strikes me as a very heartfelt plea, with the light guitar strumming pushing along both the trepidatious listener and her delicate voice.
Her efforts in this body of work do seem restricted, with her covers lacking differentiated personality. “Sea of Love” and “True Colors” are, however, two mesmerizing covers where West really prevails in showcasing her unique vocals and emotional expression. With the clever and genuine lyricism in “Battles” to top it all off, I look forward to hearing more of West’s original songs.