Another Angry Woman
Written by Adela Skowronski
"..Your heartbeat is the beat of a drum / turn your walk into running..."
For an album full of punchy lines, Emily Blue's Another Angry Woman has a fairly nonchalant opening. Your Heartbeat Is promenades as catchy and un-alarming, with a sweetness that you'd expect from perhaps a commercial pop industry star. Yet when put into context with the rest of the album, the song quickly unveils its true colors as a work of genius.
Let me explain.
A rising pop star who performs often, Emily Blue knows her audience pretty well. Her 2016 debut is full to the brim of femmes experiences: from first-hand accounts of women describing their fears, to lyrics about relationships and juggling how women feel versus how they're taught to act. It is a powerful topic that resonates with young audiences across the country, particularly women. She doesn't shy away from pointing fingers either: her power ballad Boys shoots down the common excuse of "boys will be boys", and No Pain asks why we often shield men from accountability for their actions.
Yet for this writer, the most incredible thing about Another Angry Woman is the subtly with which it also reaches people who often misunderstand the feminist movement. Take, for example, the opening song Your Heartbeat Is. The song feels feminine, and sweet - something you might expect from a well-polished female pop icon. This makes it relatable. A closer look into the repetition of the the lyrics and instrumental setting, however, betrays a sense of panic, and being overly aware of your surroundings (heart beat is the beat of a drum, turn your walk into running). It is easy to miss the implications of its minimalist setting at first, but once it is noticed, the phrase sticks in your mind, forcing you to contemplate what it could mean.
The rest of the album follows a similar approach. Blue switches between pop and light rock, sometimes feeling like Florence + the Machine, sometimes adding tasteful electronic elements. She pairs hooks with haunting lyrics about pervasive social issues: from the fear of independence to the unfair rejection of trans women under the umbrella of woman. Blue ends it all with Lavender - a song that is a celebration of what it means to be a woman, and that despite it all, being a woman is something to take pride in.
Another Angry Woman is an important musical study into the development of the 21st century woman. Switching between beautiful depictions to downright accusations, Emily invites her listeners to face the hypocrisy of the female / male stereotypes that still permeate life in the 21st century. It is difficult to explain a topic like feminism to ears who might not want to listen... but somehow, Blue's call to action is so inclusive that it is impossible to feel isolated from the movement.
QUICK SONG BREAKDOWN:
Sidewalk Devil - a gentle, yet dark and unapologetic letter that explains the feeling of fears of walking alone in public.