Narooma born Emma Russack has been gracing the ears of her public initially via YouTube, through various self-released demos and collaborations, as a member of Aussie group Hot Palms and with the release of her most previous album; Sounds of Our City. Now Emma’s based in Melbourne and delivers a new handful of tracks that make up You Changed Me, solo album number two. You could best describe Emma’s voice as a whoosh of fresh air, her vocals are lush and slightly addictive and potentially You Changed Me could demonstrate this quality in her sound.
The album’s opener Get Back is a mellow ditty about trying to settle in to a new house whilst revisiting memories and making trips back home, followed by a wishing track called Cairns where she could move somewhere summer never ends; the correlation between the two tracks demonstrate Russack’s difficulty or lack of ability to settle down in the one place. Emma’s got a good thing going with Scented Candles; although it is another down tempo track, there are time changes and the melody and overall atmosphere of the song transforms into a contrasting sound towards the end. Stars is short and sweet and The End is introduced and plagued with the tweeting of birds, which was actually a bit distracting.
The guitars give off a more rock kind of a vibe in the beginning of London Town, making the song one of the strongest sounding on the record, which wasn’t a difficult feat really compared to the previous tracks. We find out that Emma is over loved in Two Lovers but she doesn’t seem so worried about it, why is this ‘how it should’ be Emma? Women is another song based on relationships, this time a guy who changed everything she wanted from a man and sees lots of other women. You Shouldn’t was yet another slow track which was very easy to zone out of unfortunately, the album didn’t seem to have the strongest of all endings either with Paris; although us being called sweetheart and honey bunch may have won the track some points.
In all truthfulness, You Changed Me wasn’t the most captivating of albums. The poetry and flawlessness of the stories being told in each song weren’t delivered in a way that could keep you connected to the track from start to finish, that is not to say the entire album should be ignored however; we do see some stronger elements in tracks such as Get Back, Cairns and Scented Candles. Perhaps Emma was going for the more toned down quality with this release, but as beautiful as her vocals were the majority of songs didn’t leap out or give any encouragement to give them undivided attention. Wonderful vocals and well crafted lyrics, but the overall vibe of the album kind of let them down.