DB Embedded Review

Positive Embedded review from South Australia’s DB Magazine.

Author: Justin Blatchford

Date: May 2004.

Original URL: http://www.dbmagazine.com.au/334/cd-MarkSeymour.shtml


Article Text

Mark Seymour

Throughout my first listen to Mark Seymour’s latest solo album I could not help but long for a stirring rendition of Holy Grail or Throw Your Arms Around Me to erupt from the speakers. The man and his former band Hunters & Collectors are such icons of Australian rock, the songs so well known, that one can’t help but expect musical offerings of the same calibre. The good news is, although lacking the historic aura that classic songs seem to generate over time, ‘Embedded’ offers up just that – eleven songs of excellent quality, perhaps Seymour’s best efforts since the Hunters disbanded.

Perhaps it’s the uniquely Australian brand of suburban tales that it sets out to tell; perhaps it’s the way it evokes the close feeling of pub rock within you; perhaps it’s the fact that Seymour’s voice has lost none of its deep, stirring quality. There’s just something about the album that stirs your suburban patriotism. Album opener 43 In The Shade reminds you of a hot summer’s day, with laid-back guitar strumming, despairing lyrics and the occasional lick of a distorted flute all adding to the feeling of exhaustion. In The Kitchen Of A Perfect Home offers up the sad tale of a suburban marriage split and builds up the inevitable feelings of regret and self-pity of its lyrics in a suitably slow, measured fashion on guitar. And things just get better from there – A Shoulder To Cry On is a fast-driven number about a typical, average Aussie guy who thinks the woman he’s just met is ‘the one’ but doesn’t know who she really is; Paradise Downunder is both a poignant ode to our sunburnt country and a reflection on horrible experiences overseas, and Waratah Street is one of the saddest songs written about alcoholism, with resigned lyrics and intentionally weary vocals.

‘Embedded’ is certainly not the first album to tell the typical tales of Australian suburbia, but it’s one of few that truly works, touching you and your own memories of living in the suburbs. Once again, Seymour has struck gold with quintessentially Australian tunes – may he continue to rock the suburbs for a long time yet.