It is a fairly safe fact that Dutch songbird Caro Emerald set the bar pretty high with the release of her debut album, Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor. Not being a huge follower of Swing or Jazz, I found myself holding the release with a slight sense of apprehension, wondering what I might discover through the inviting red casing that sat in front of me, ready for its first spin on the CD player back in 2010. I feel slightly ashamed by that admission these days, I have to say.
It was love at first listen as I ran through the stunning track-listing of Caro’s immaculately crafted debut. Songs like Stuck, Riviera Life and her breakthrough debut single, Back It Up, set my ears alight as they rang through to my music loving core with sweet melodies, a thick rhythm and some of the most infectious hooks heard on a release in the past ten years. The style of Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor was also an unintimidating and carefree whisk through modern Jazz and Swing with just the right ingredients taken from the pop cupboard to make the record a diverse, commercial hit for pop loving audiences as well as Jazz and Swing aficionados.
Caro has been busy since the release of her debut, promoting and touring the record throughout Europe and the US, building her reputation as one of the brightest starlets to emerge from Europe over the past decade as she has teased the world with her smoldering good looks and memorable hit singles.
3 years have passed since Caro release Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor and this month sees the Dutch superstar present to us her long awaited and highly anticipated sophomore collection, The Shocking Miss Emerald.
The new release sees Caro back to what she does best with 14 brand new tracks, all bursting with that nostalgically coated pizazz, the same musical essence of her debut that we fell instantly in love with.
The new record opens with a brief 39 second intro and although the opener may be fleeting, it casts an instant cinematic feel over the record with its enigmatic orchestral arrangement before the witty, One Day, with its seductive horn section and gossipy sound effects, gets behind the wheel and drives us through a sweet addition to the opening half of the record.
Coming Back As A Man offers a humorous inclusion to The Shocking Miss Emerald as the sultry star takes us through a funny poem of role reversal, trying on various garments and taking on a masculine persona in order for “the ultimate reversal” as Caro tells of wanting to hide “behind the Errol Flynn moustache”. The casual tempo of the track is contrasting against the following Tangled Up as we are offered one of the records most promising numbers. The track serves as the records lead single and with its diverse ingredients which include scratching, a meaty yet subtle guitar riff and a sassy tango inspired spine, the track lights up the record with its momentous, radio-friendly quality.
The same musical characteristics that were carried on Caro’s debut are out and proud on this new collection, but with an original feel to them that allows them to fly with a modern and fresh finish.
Completely is a whimsical, big band scented hit with a sugary filling of piano tinkering and a fantastic horn section solo while further into the album I Belong To You could easily fall within the realm of past Bond hits with its dark, atmospheric and edgy instrumentation while the tracks background trumpets and guitar riffs offer the number a foreign sprinkling.
The Maestro is performed within a similar vein as Tangled Up and comes complete with a series of superbly delivered harmonies. My 2 Cents provides the record with another infectious and smoldering staple as it boasts a memorable, radio-friendly melody and enlists a violin and trumpet to lace through the tracks stylish electro-pop drenched arrangement propelling us through to the closing of this brand new, cohesive patchwork of hits.
The Shocking Miss Emerald is a spectacular return for Caro Emerald. Overflowing with glitz, glamour and a nod to the golden age of Hollywood stage and screen, this new collection is sure to keep the Dutch songbirds star burning bright for quite some time.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.