Album review: Scout Niblett – It’s Up To Emma

Scout Niblett - It's Up To Emma

Scout Niblett - It's Up To Emma - Credit: Archant

Niblett’s trademark intensity is met with softer elements that will widen her appeal without diminishing her gritty vitriol.

Emma Louise Niblett’s sixth album finds its title from her own sticky situation cutting this record.

With no partner in crime she slogged away at home to create a not-so-quietly brilliant record that simmers with intensity.

Fans of old will not be disappointed; her soft but piercing vocals remain at the fore as she winds her way through acidic episodes of obsession, love, lust, loss and a respectable cover of No Scrubs.

But ditching her straight-to-tape method signals a bigger change; Niblett has allowed her music to bloom while remaining in stormy weather.

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So alongside the splendidly sullen, threatening album highlight Gun – full of vitriolic, vengeful lyrics of a woman spurned, performed with biting finesse using lone drumbeats and thrumming guitar – she offers lashings of violin and orchestral drumrolls on Can’t Fool Me Now, which sweep with filmic majesty over its barbed words and guitar jabs.

But while she noticeably sands down the edges of her sound, this is no acquiescence. Her best album yet?

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4 stars

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