I should declare an interest… I know Emma. I’ve known her for years. I once played her boyfriend in a music video. She poured a several litre-full bottle of coke over my head on a freezing January morning. I caught a cold. A sticky cold. She laughed. I’ve waited years to get my revenge… Years… And then this record arrives in the post with a post-it note asking if I’d like to review it.
<knuckles crack> right then…
I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m Being Followed By A Statue is an absolutely brilliant record, even by her standards. Given that Emma has a history of being in brilliant bands and a reputation for writing brilliant songs, that’s saying something.
Nine songs that stretch from modern alternative (opener ‘Fever Dreams’ may actually be the greatest song Emma has ever written) to her grungy rock comfort zone (‘Goldilocks’ and ‘Hush’), with some cracking 80’s pop (‘Lover’s Ruin’) and lo-fi (heart breaking closer, ‘Dorothy’), this is a tour de force made only more impressive through the realisation that it’s a completely self-produced work.
Heartfelt, humble, powerful and polished… this is proper pop music. Going solo suits Howett. Revenge is a dish best served cold anyway… maybe her next record will suck.
Review by Peter Richard Adams