Music is a funny thing. I've always found it interesting that great music can go unnoticed while less than spectacular songs bombard us all day long. I always thought it was fairly obvious when an artist was genuine and that everyone could not only see it but also feel it. Apparently I've been wrong for most of my life. It turns out you can make sub par music popular strictly by playing it enough for people. If they hear it over and over they just start to know it and maybe even like it. Large swaths of our population also don't take the time to explore and discover music or don't have the nerve to admit they like something. I remember the abuse I took in high school for admitting I loved Sinead O Connor. "She's bald dude". "What the fuck". If I had a nickel for every time someone called me a fag for that one, we might not be here right now. Anyway, the point is good music is hard to come by. It's often not supported in the way it needs to find its way to the right ears. Such is the case with Emile Haynie's We Fall album. I'm not sure where to begin.
I guess Ill start with the fact that it is a beautiful story of love and loss. It's full of every emotion we all have felt. Sorrow, bitterness, and resentment, all leading to an emotional recovery. It's the tale of a relationship gone bad. The songs range form dark to pop, but are all blessed with an honesty about the situation that makes the story attainable for us. We've all felt the emotions being explored in these songs. It's simultaneously sad and comedic.
The truth of the songs is so clear that we can all inject ourselves into the story. It's cinematic. But if the beauty and honesty of the songs is not enough, it accomplishes something else that is rare. The record boasts an ensemble cast without losing the plot. Each artist fits so seamlessly into the record one could believe they were all witness to the events as they unfolded. It's a guest-artist roster only Emile could put together, and a testament to both his skill as a producer and his generosity as a person:
This is no ordinary person who can ask these artists to sing his songs. To the best of my knowledge, Randy Newman has never sung another persons song before. Who to Blame was tailor made for him though and you could imagine it being something he wrote himself, but it still belongs on this record.
Do yourself a favor, open up your head and give this record a listen. After that, do a bit of digging and see where else Emile has added his production touch. It's an incredible musical journey.