Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate): You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

[21 August 2014]

By Zachary Houle

Music Editor - Canada

Alas, This Album Will Eventually Be Forgotten

If you think this husband and wife emo duo have a rather unconventional and long-winded name, wait until you see some of the song titles on their latest album, You Will Eventually Be Forgotten. Some of this stuff almost nudges into Sufjan Stevens Illinois territory: “The Promise That Life Can Go On No Matter How Bad Our Losses”. How about “It’s So Much Darker When a Light Goes Out Than It Would Have Been If It Had Never Shone”? Yes, this makes for some pretty longwinded stuff, but what’s most interesting about this album is that it has something of a narrative arc about marriage and death, as well as near-death experiences. Lyrically, You Will Eventually Be Forgotten is virtually a novel with its prose-like lyrics. Musically, the disc is melodically indie, with some memorable hooks, such as the somewhat Modest Mouse-sounding “It’s So Much Darker ... (etc., etc., etc)”.

However, what absolutely kills this disc and brings it down a number of notches is the fact that if you look up the term “acquired taste” in the dictionary, you’ll see a photograph of vocalist Keith Latinen. This is unfortunate – you can’t help but live with the voice you’re born with – but he sounds a whole lot like the whiny teenaged Neil Goldman from Family Guy crossed with Billy Corgan at his most nasal. I hate to say it, but the vocals are utterly repellant to listen to, akin to hearing nearly 40 minutes of fingers being scraped across a chalkboard. They undercut the power and beauty of the music, which is actually quite afflicting and pleasant indie rock. So take that as you will: You Will Eventually Be Forgotten boasts some solid craftsmanship, which is quite endearing, but also has some wretched singing, making the proceeding seem rather average at best. You Will Eventually Be Forgotten might just suffer that fate, as this is regrettably a cult item for only those who can get past some high-pitched vocal peals. Great cover art, though.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/184237-empire-empire-i-was-a-lonely-estate-you-will-eventually-be-forgotten/