Album of the Day: Emily Reo, “Only You Can See It”
By Anna White · April 26, 2019 Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD), Cassette

Emily Reo spent the last five years working on her latest project, Only You Can See It. The album is focused on the idea of perception and intimacy, and is full of songs about the issues closest to Reo: mental illness, heartbreak, and recovery. Reo’s lyrics run from whimsical to ghostly—album opener “Phosphenes” mixes a deceptively upbeat melody with darker verses. Only You Can See It’s songs retain the vocal prominence of Reo’s previous release, Spell, but here, she’s upped the ante with reverberating vocals and sweeping melodies. 

The album also plays with pacing; a piercing, saxophone-heavy interlude “Counterspell” allows for a brief breather before Reo dives into the feminist “Strawberry,” where Reo sings, “Don’t need your company, don’t knock me down” over bubbly sonar-like beeps that explode into a full pop chorus. The album is a rollercoaster—its songs plummet to dark depths one minute and burst with energy the next. With Only You Can See It, Reo has created a thrilling pop experience.  

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