Watashi Wa, an alternative pop/emo band on Tooth & Nail, offers one of the best examples that Christian emo can be done - and done well. Their Tooth & Nail debut, The Love Of Life is full of the sugary pop hooks, irresistible melodies and youthful exuberance that exemplify the golden age of this genre.
What distinguishes this album from typical emo fare, however, is the unabashedly optimistic view on love and life that primary singer/songwriter Seth Roberts displays. While secular emo bands such as Saves the Day, Brand New and Fall Out Boy mask their lyrical anguish with likeable melodies, this album is literally as sweet as it sounds. The opening track "All Of Me" finds joy in the songwriter's shortcomings, vowing that "I'm not a lot / but you can have all of me" while the next song "At Its Finest" finds the singer encouraging a depressed friend: "Pessimistically you have trained your mind to think / Life is down because you chained yourself to misery / So think things humbly / Lock up pride and throw away key." This blatant optimism is a welcomed change of pace from a band that dwells in a genre notoriously devoid of it.
From beginning to end, The Love Of Life is nearly flawless. Building from the perfect pop of its opener, this album presents its idea of love as a selfless ("With Love From Me To You"), enduring ("Always Is A Place") and intently wonderful experience ("All Of Me"). Fans of Mae or Anberlin who haven't yet discovered this underrated band should only be asked one question: What are you waiting for?- Review date: 10/16/06, written by Sherwin Frias
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