The blissful pop/rock of Alaska appears immediately on the band's debut full-length, Emotions. After the orchestral strains of "The Western Shore," Alaska offers the rocker "Love (To Be Your Main)," a song that screams a variety of influences without screaming clichés at the same time. Comprised of Lowercase's Imaad Wasif and Sebadoh's Russell Pollard, the duo would later make up two-thirds of the new Folk Implosion with Lou Barlow. Emotions was released nearly two years after Wasif and Pollard originally paired up as Alaska, opting to pursue a different sound than their other bands. In this case, the result is not the sum of its parts, and it's remarkably refreshing. The band shows substantial range on relaxed folk songs like "Sun Don't Shine" and "Rust and Cyanide" and solid rockers like "S.S./Candycane" and "Lost the Gold." More graceful folk appears on the serene duet "Resistance," which is followed by a seamless transition into "Nightmare," a stunningly quiet epic. The disc closes with the anthem "In My Time." As a whole, the album shows a band still finding its feet, with outstanding musical instincts, especially on the acoustic tracks. Kristina Kite and David McConnell guest on piano on two tracks. Other guest musicians include guitarist Josh Schwartz, vocalist Josie Cotton, and multi-instrumentalist Shon Sullivan of the band Goldenboy. Most of the album was recorded with producer David McConnell at California's Satellite Park Studios. Soon after the album's release on B-Girl Records, Leslie Ishino of the Red Aunts joined as the band's drummer.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer