Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Music Review: Emmy Rossum - Inside Out (EP)

The first time I ever heard Emmy Rossum's voice was from the movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. She starred as the female lead, Christine, and I was blown away by her performance. With her voice and talent, I knew it was only a matter of time before she came out with her own album, and sure enough, here it is.

Emmy Rossum's debut album, entitled Inside Out showcases her talent with her voice, alright, but in an entire different way from what fans of The Phantom of the Opera might expect. Rossum doesn't try to show off her range or the high notes she can hit in this album. Instead, she shows off her voice as an instrument of harmony. It is one of the things that instantly strikes you when you listen to her songs.

There are very few musical instruments that can be heard on the album and excepting some keyboard and percussion, almost every other sound is sung by Rossum herself. She says, "I wanted to create a kind of music that would allow me to use my voice as another instrument. I sing the parts that would be played by guitar or piano. I tried to discover, how much can you do without instruments? What is the boundary of the human voice?” The result is an amazing album of songs that delights the senses with their sweet sounds and peaceful harmony.

The song "Slow Me Down" is the perfect example of how beautiful music can be when Rossum uses her voice to replace the usual instruments. Rossum sings every single one of the 150 parts and harmonies of "Slow Me Down", including some of the percussion! It sounds wonderful and very serene, and listening to it makes you want to relax and slow down a little. "Stay" is like a very sensual siren's song, and you can almost imagine yourself as the besotted sailor who finds it really, really hard to resist Rossum's plea for you to stay with her for that one romantic moonlit night. "Falling" is my favorite and it makes me feel like a giddy teenager tumbling into love. You can listen to the songs on her myspace page.

Emmy Rossum has done something creative and entirely different from any other kind of music with her debut album, Inside Out, and I'm delighted with the incredible result of it. While her album isn't what I expected from listening to her sing in The Phantom of the Opera, it surpasses all creative and musical expectations. This is just the beginning of a long and successful musical career for her, and it's going to be one I'll be happy to follow.


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