Verdict: 3 / 5
Emblem3 are the semi-finalist band from the 2012 Season of The X-Factor in the USA. Despite being a trio of young guys from the state of Washington, they do have a pre-occupation with Southern California, and Los Angeles in particular. The two LA themed tracks are some of the strongest songs on what is a decent debut album.
The reggae/pop trio’s opening track ‘Just for one day’ is an energetic start, followed by fun pop songs ‘Spaghetti’ and ‘XO’. Track four is the one you probably know – the band’s first single ‘Chloe (You’re the One that I Want)’. The track certainly has catchy lyrics and melodies and, of course, words about ‘hot sisters’ always seem to go down well with the teen crowd.
The next two tracks continue the strong sound that they are bringing across, even if it’s not the most original sound you’ve ever heard. The mixture of rap and pop harkens back to the days of 5ive (for me at least).
The final five tracks are my favourites. The LA themed songs ‘I Love LA’ and ‘Sunset Blvd’ are extremely strong, followed by the nostalgic longings of ‘3000 Miles’ which I would probably put as my favourite song on the whole album. A fun summer, party song ‘Teenage Kings’ will certainly appeal to the band’s target audience, but it’s the honest, UB40-sounding final track ‘One Day’ which ends the album on a note to try and make you think. The song is a Bob Marley-inspired lament about the world we live in and a plea, and prayer for a better world where ‘our children will play’.
All in all, this is a solid debut effort and the reggae edge certainly sets the band apart slightly. Without it, they wouldn’t have a very distinct sound, but with it, they do have something to listen to.