Artists revisiting their previous work no matter how old it is has always been an interesting topic. The ideology of reimagining songs has been around for a long time, but lately there’s been an upswing in artists wanting to put different twists on not only fan-favorites, but their own as well. Many times they play it safe by performing the songs acoustically or releasing remixes, but sometimes they take that extra step to help breathe new life into their songs. Of the many bands in the scene to reimagine their songs in the past few years, Emarosa are perhaps the best at doing it. After the release of their comeback album Versus in 2014, the band entered the recording studio with Copeland’s Aaron Marsh to record what would end up being the four-track EP Versus Reimagined. With the help of Marsh, the band took those four songs and stripped them what they previously were and in turn, crafted piano-led tracks accompanied by a plethora of strings, horns and more that wouldn’t have felt out of place on a Copeland album. With the warm reception they received upon the release of the reimagined EP, there’s no doubt that a rearrangement of their new album 131 was coming and a little over a year later, it is now here.
131 Reimagined sees the band taking their songs and opting for new genres that wouldn’t normally be a part of their sound instead of just stripping them down and using more orchestral instruments. While the EP’s lead single, “Helpless”, certainly sees the formerly R&B influenced track turned into a somber piano-led song like their previous EP, it’s the other tracks that see a more radical change to their sound. “One Car Garage” has its verses feel reminiscent of something you’d hear in a jazz lounge as the chorus feels like part of a different song as it takes a synthwave approach. “Miracle” is a hip-hop/R&B influenced track not unlike The Weeknd with the vocals feeling restrained unlike the original’s, which soared. The EP’s closer, “Blue”, is 131’s most aggressive and fast-paced track taken to a more ambient soundscape that’s filled with synths, piano and percussion.
In the end, the four tracks that compose the band’s new rearranged EP takes expectations and throws them out the window as the band explores new sounds that you wouldn’t otherwise expect from Emarosa. That’s the beauty of an artist reimagining their songs, as you see those songs you’ve grown to love being turned into sounds that you may not have thought of giving a chance if they were performed by another artist. The band could’ve just stripped down 131 and called it a day, but instead they did the unexpected and made a collection of songs that breaks down whatever expectations people have of the band, making you wonder what they have up their sleeve with their next release.
131 Reimagined sees Emarosa take their songs to new horizons as they strip them down to the bone and build them back up using new and unexpected sounds to deliver a great deconstruction of 131.