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June 11, 2011 12:18 am

Emmy the Great: Virtue

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Emmy the Great

 

Virtue

(Close Harbour)

Where would we be without the human knack for forming disastrous relationships? There would be no Madame Bovary and no EastEnders; gossip magazines would be thinner, Joni Mitchell’s Blue would be less blue. And Emmy the Great would be casting around for subjects to write songs about instead of creating Virtue, a richly realised portrait of her broken engagement to a fiancé who discovered God and left her.

The Londoner, real name Emma-Lee Moss, skewers the devout ex on acidic piano ballad “Trellick Tower” (“Now you’re high above the people/Who you used to call your equals”) and wonders “What use is love if it always passes?” on “Cassandra” as a reverb-treated guitar drips tearfully in the background. It’s poised, expressive and marks a serious advance on Moss’s 2009 debut. Long may hearts continue to be broken.

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