Released July 8 via Hopeless Records, 131 is an instrumentally sound album by Kentucky band Emarosa. The dynamic sound of 131 will take your breath away. Bradley Walden’s vocals are backed by a diverse and varied instrumental sound, with guitars being that captivating under layer that draws you deeper into the song. The lyrics are melodic, emotionally charged, and skillfully delivered by Walden to pull at all of your heart strings. So much so that by the end of 131, the effect is lost and you either feel a little raw or just sick of emotions in general. Even with the emotional vulnerability or sickness that 131 can leave you with, it’s a beautiful album that will leave its mark.
Produced by Casey Bates (Portugal The Man, Pierce The Veil, Memphis May Fire, and more) Emarosa’s sound on 131 has obviously changed from previous releases. Each song is centered around and highlights Walden’s vocals. For good reason too. He’s a talented vocalist that knows how to not only hit notes, but deliver them in accordance to the lyrics. The emotion that Walden puts into the vocals on 131 is perfectly matched with the emotion in the lyrics.
While the lyrics are emotionally charged and even beautiful in places, they lose their effect the further you get into the album. The reason being is that the majority of the songs on 131 are about a relationship with another person, or maybe even relationships with multiple people. Individually, the songs on 131 are outstanding works of art. But just like in real life though, listening to a person discuss their relationship details gets old fast. However, this doesn’t take away from the breathtaking effect of the instrumentals or the vocals, and isn’t noticed until a few plays into the album.
Melodically, 131 is a dream. The melody shifts and changes, even little by little, with each song and you find that from the first track to the last is a small journey. Songs like “Miracle” and “Helpless” stand out with interesting guitar riffs and catchy hooks that grab your attention and reel you in. The sound on 131 is the best part. It goes from being your typical post-hardcore album to being a cinematic masterpiece with pianos and violins.
Emarosa have created a sound that is dynamic, ever changing, and constantly in flux. The tone and the way that the music flows are decided by the emotion behind the lyrics and vocals, and in the end 131 is a beautiful work of art. Even if you feel raw or tired of the lyrics by the end of it, you can’t deny the power of the album. And you won’t regret listening to it.
131 by Emarosa is available now through Hopeless Records. And be sure to check out Emarosa all summer long on the Vans Warped Tour.