"I'm Only A Man", the third release from Seattle transplants Emery, shows the bands musical growth and expertise, continuing with the formula that brought them to a national stage, as well as thrust them into stardom. Eleven pounding songs that run the gamut from rock, alt-country, jazz and in-numerable other influences that the band has cited throughout their career, this trend-setter is at it again with "I'm Only A Man".
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The Party Song
After The Devil Beats His Wife
Can't Stop The Killer
Story About A Man With A Bad Heart
Don't Bore Us, Get To The Chorus
What Makes A Man A Man
The Movie Song
You Think You're Nickel Slick (But I Got Your Penny Change)
4/5| Posted March 29, 2011
This is the most drastic style change I have heard from a band. I'm Only A Man really feels a bit like a Muse album in that there are some good electronic elements mixed in with the traditional guitar riffs. While it's not Emery's best album, I'm Only A Man still has a bunch of memoriable tracks like "The Party Song" and "The Movie Song."
Emery reinventes themselves yet again and the result is a mixed bag. In my mind, the good outweighs the bad. The album is not that bad but the style Emery went for here could take some time to grow on you. I'd recommend getting this album from the Are You Listening compilation because you get the superior two albums as well as this one.
People want the truth...| Posted August 24, 2009 ...but never want the scars
Let's get the obvious out of the way up front. This is a very different album from anything else that Emery has done to date. Most of my friends went into this album with high expectations along the lines of Emery's other albums and were bitterly disappointed. The screamo edge is gone, however in its place is a more mature and thoughtful Emery than perhaps expected. I think this is a very important work in the band's discography that should not be missed by fans.
That said, I do not believe that Emery is at their best here. This album does a spectacular job of showcasing the vocal talent of Toby and Devin, but the music lacks the same finesse. The musical highlights of the album only leave you wanting more of what could have been. World Away is a beautiful song with a catchy chorus and soothing vocals throughout, with loud guitars and distortion crashing in towards the end. The bizarre mixture works amazingly well and in my opinion shows that Emery does good working within each style, but is at their best when they bring the two together. The vocals are pleading and passionate throughout, shown best in the bridge of After the Devil Beats His Wife ("People want the truth / But never want the scars... And you say it's going to be okay / Over and over again"), yet they are also weirdly flawed and seem off key and out of pitch in songs like Can't Stop The Killer ("Well go ahead and run / Run from the man with the gun in his hand") and The Movie Song ("It's true, I would do anything for you / She asked if this was cool / I played it like a fool / It's like I've said before / I could die tonight for just one kiss more").
For the most part, the lyrics come across as a confusing mess for me personally. I do believe that they matured a lot from the mostly relationship-based content of The Question (which was itself not without its spiritual highlights) and the themes running through songs like Rock-n-Rule display that the best. Yet in spite of the highlights, just like with the vocal work, the low points drag the rest of the album down with it on songs like Can't Stop the Killer ("Run from the man with the gun in his hand / Darling I would shoot you before I would ever let you leave") and Story About a Man With a Bad Heart ("I bought her several drinks / And slipped the ring into my hand / We drove to her place / And let the good times roll again / Suddenly everything shakes as my protection breaks / And now I'm on my knees and I scream this was wrong").
In the end, I think you'll find that with tempered expectations and appropriate taste in this style of music, this is a decent album that you'll find pleasing to listen to. I still listen to my favorites from I'm Only a Man quite often, but I feel the latter songs on the album are less cohesive and drag the rest of it down.
My Highlights: After the Devil Beats His Wife, Rock-n-Rule, World Away
Lying there with a broken heart on bedroom floors
And finally I realize that I am only a man
If I were the maker, I would fashion out a blade
To cut out every inch of dead heart I've made
The Best So Far| Posted October 18, 2008
I have had this cd for a while now and I still love listening to it! It doesn't get old. Emery is an amazing band and this cd proves it. I think this is definitely their best so far.
Different, but still the same...lol| Posted June 15, 2008
I'm Only A Man is slightly more melodic than their previous albums, but i really really like it. It definitly showed off their talent a lot, and their voices harmonize perfectly, and few bands have accomplished that. Definitly happy that i spent my money on this album...lol....Can't Stop the Killer, The Movie Song, The Party Song, After the Devil Beats His Wife, and Don't Bore Us Get To The Chorus are among my favorites.
ehhh| Posted April 15, 2008
i think this is emery's WORST cd they have ever done. the album just doesnt seem to flow. both of their pervious albums were amazing, but the only good thing on this one is "The Party Song." Without that song this cd would get 0 stars.
not the best| Posted February 22, 2008
I have heard many reviews on this cd, and i my opinion its not the best. Emery doesnt sound like themself. I cant really explain it but its just not one of their best.