The mark of an engrossing album is often that it keeps us guessing from song to song. Such can certainly said of Emotional’s Ahh…The Name Is Emotional, Baby!, an album offering, paradoxically, a nostalgic, yet innovative sound. Case in point is “Believe in Me”, the record’s opening track, which is a somehow coherent blend of arpeggiated synth tones as well as both funk-style and distorted electric guitar settings. Much of the album is decidedly reminiscent of indie outfit the Sleepy Jackson (Empire of the Sun frontman Luke Steele’s first band) in its fusion of nasal vocals, folky acoustic guitar to pad out the texture and interjections of psychedelia. As notable is the clear influence of original new wave groups (The The come to mind) and 1980s pop in general.
The guitar and drum sounds on “Could I Be The Last One” are as 1980s as rollerblading up the road wearing a shoulder-padded coat with Flock of Seagulls pumping on your Walkman. As remarkable as “Believe in Me’s” stylistic fusion is the fact that the band’s borrowing from the 1980s sound is never gimmicky nor gratuitous. The seamless transition from these classic sounds to the gooey dream-pop core is perhaps the album’s most striking feature. Again though, this never borders on being self-indulgent as some dream pop is. All I can say is I hope the veritable lava lamp of sound that this album has provided leads to more great music in the future, by Emotional, and hopefully music-makers with the good fortune to hear this album.