Can it really be ten years since Richard Marx was an integral and magnificent part of the pop experience? It's been a few years since listeners have heard from him, but feel free to enjoy the Marx-like vibe through this Boston-based singer/songwriter. Indie to the core and obviously aware that he's more adult contemporary than Top 40 (as Marx was in his day), Emerson has the gritty voice that makes rockers more intense and adds an edge even to simple guitar ballads like "All Because of You" (familiar to fans via its exposure on Dawson's Creek). Emerson is eminently likeable, hooky as if his life depended on it, finding a nice middle ground between the grit and the sap with MOR rockers like "Broken Heart." He's a songwriter who knows that lyrics matter, but was not afraid to try for mass acceptance via "This Could Take All Night," a pedestrian closing ballad penned by Diane Warren.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran