Emm Gryner – Northern Gospel review

Emm Gryner, a name I vaguely remember hearing on the radio as a youth, is apparently alive and well and still making albums. Last week she released her latest, Northern Gospel. 

You really do have to hand it to the Canadian singer-songwriter, her persistence is admirable.  She has seemingly released eleven albums between 1998’s Public, which produced her single (somewhat) recognizable song “Summerlong”, and Northern Gospel.  But let’s be honest here, no one really remembers that song or has heard anything about her since then, and there might be a reason for that.  Northern Gospel is one of the most boring albums I have subjected myself to in a long time.

This isn’t to slight Gryner as a musician.  She has had a nice little career, touring extensively in Canada and the US as well as in her ancestral Ireland and Europe.  She has made 15 albums, most of them self-released on her own Dead Daisy Records, and was nominated for a few Juno’s along the way.  She even played with David Bowie for a few years.

But that doesn’t make Northern Gospel any more listenable.  From start to finish it is a symphony of generic pop songs with extremely vanilla lyrics.  There is nothing that is particularly exciting about it.  But at the same time nothing particularly wrong with it.  It is unoffensive to a major fault.  It really fails to engage the listener at any point.

At the end of the day though, It Is What It Is (possibly my favorite cliche ever).  Emm Gryner has made another bubbly pop album that anyone can relate to but that no one will remember.  And don’t blame Emm, blame the CRTC regulations that allow Canadian artists who make lame albums like this still get tons of radio time nonetheless.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top