Vicky Emerson’s Dust & Echoes sends the listener on a slow and long journey right from the start. “Arrival Of The Tempest” paints the image of a rough road ahead and is embellished by dark and morose strings. The cutesy theme on the disc begins to get old by the second number, “Tennessee.” By the time the song closes out, Emerson’s voice turns into this whiney mess. Despite the less than favorable vocal tones and styles provided by Emerson, the lyrics and composition of the pieces on Dust & Echoes does make up for blunders. If Emerson has one thing going for her it’s the whimsical and moving piano skills and her ability to make the listener feel, see and experience exactly what is going on during her songs.
Dust & Echoes is one downer after another. However, in the mix of all the gloom, “Shine” provides a positive outlook during the album’s second half. The seventh cut is where it seems Emerson puts some heartfelt emotion into her performance, which was lacking throughout the rest of the release. Even with the glistening “Shine,” it’s not fully enough to really bring Dust & Echoes out of the shadows. Unfortunately, some of the best parts of the disc are found at the end, like the full and powerful “Never Enough.” By the time the final number “Here/Stay” finished, it was clear that nothing stood out greater than “Shine,” “Never Enough,” and the opener, “Arrival Of The Tempest.” For a bleeding heart type of record, there’s certainly more bleeding and less heart. Perhaps the droning voice of Vicky Emerson can document your last breakup or missing your love; the only way to know is to give the disc a listen.