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EMF – The Beauty And The Chaos

I’ve got to be honest, EMF are not a band I was envisaging reviewing in 2024. I hadn’t even realised they’d released an album relatively recently before this one. (Don’t flame me, I’ve had a tough couple of years, so I wasn’t really paying attention).

What I REALLY didn’t expect though, was for it to be this good! Which doesn’t make sense really, because I always loved their stuff in the 1990s anyway, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be…

Anyway, The Beauty And The Chaos is a mighty fine album, opening with the stunning single ‘Hello People‘ which is a slap-in-the-face shaped nostalgic gem, also proving lyrically that the band’s hearts are in the right place (“The words forever spoken with momentum and motion / Keep sailing all those waters, and crossing those borders.”)

Reach For The Lasers‘ is another absolute beast of a track, harking back to the band’s heyday with its up tempo dancefloor-anthem ambience, making 21-year-old me momentarily come out of my ageing body and mock me- “Move your feet, old man,” he’s yelling at 2024 me, and I comply, laughing, drinking in the youthful exuberance, and tasting the sweet nectar of a pint of beer in 1990.

That said, it would be doing it a shocking disservice to suggest that The Beauty And The Chaos is all about the nostalgia. It isn’t. I mean, yeah, it’s definitely there in moderation, but the band have continued to move forwards too, and that is ultimately displayed best on ‘Red Flags‘, embracing a kind of modernist post-punk and being propelled by some marvellous interaction between bass, drums and guitar.

Ralph Jezzard is back at the helm for production duties and it does seem that magic fires out of his fingertips when he works with EMF. ‘Lookout Mountain‘ is arguably my favourite track with its quiet build and huge, euphoric chorus, but it’s just one great tune on an album full of them.

You probably know by now that the impeccable Stephen Fry – himself a long term fan – is featured on a remixed version of ‘Hello People‘, which works surprisingly well, although I feel like this ‘gimmick’, for want of a better word, shouldn’t really be focused on, for fear of detracting from the other quality tracks here. ‘The Day The Music Died‘ is another rip-roaring success, for example, one that would undoubtedly be battling for top spot in the UK charts back in the day – an irresistible, boozy singalong that’s right up there with their best work.

Welcome back to a band who are absolutely killing it right now, much to my surprise and delight. Ignore at your own peril.



God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.