Zack Hemsey – Empty Room Review, Part II

Welcome back, so here’s the second part of the review of the 2010 release from Zack Hemsey. The first half of the album was a pretty nice start, don’t you think? Well, I think the second half delivers just as good, if not even better.

See for yourself.

Continuing on, the seventh track of this album is called Standing Still. There are no lyrics here, as it consists mainly of piano covers throughout. It is very relaxing as it gives the impression of one, just standing in nothingness and floating through space. Not every song needs to be bombastic and this song captures that perfectly.

The eigth track, is Why?. The main vocalist in this album Heather Bolan is the solo singer in this piece. It covers a young girl who is sold by her family and essentially into slavery. She laments if her immediate family could begin to understand what it’s like to be used by so men. She wonders how could she have been so foolish. She would never be the same ever again. Heather challenges that her family wouldn’t even want to keep her home again and she fought and screamed, but to no avail.
Truly a sorrowful song.

The ninth track, To Return is another song full of percussions and orchestra, but no real lyrics here either. It gives the illusion of one trying to return, maybe from an ardous journey. There are rises in tone, indicating the successful triumph of the one who did so. If anything, this song demonstrates courage and conviction to perserve in the face of overwhelming odds.

The tenth track, Revelations begins with the sound of marching of soldiers. The main singer is Mr. Hemsey himself, accompanied by Heather Bolan. This is definitely a more foreboding song as it deals with being on the brink of an apocalypse or one’s personal end times, as it were. When the sun fades out, when darkness envelops all that we know, everything is coming apart at the seams and fear is at its highest point, Zack Hemsey asks the listener, “Will you drown in the plague that surrounds?”

Then, it kicks into high gear with a pounding bass. Hemsey mentions different instances regarding a figurative weight on a pressure point and how it would implode, or if one should choose a certain path in life, how it would eventually would erode, or if you take a path which would be viewed by many as difficult, you’ll find yourself walking the world alone. As one would travel on, past once mighty ones and you see signs, (ALA crop cirles). You would ponder, wondering “Does this mean that this could be it, that Armageddon is finally here? Zack then asks if it would help the armies of the world to march on. He then encourages the listener to join the race for survival and hang in there. Not knowing whether its truth or just words in a song, let it be known with the sound of a gong:

This is Mayan times
But I am not afraid
And I won’t die today
So pull me under
I fear no thunder

Zack muses as to why it is that different obstacles couldn’t keep him away, though he has emerged battered and bruised. With no leader or one such as an angel, that could embrace or save one from certain death, it is hopeless. He chooses to stand and refuses the noose that he is handed, or the end of it all, as it were. Only foolish ones can try to hide from fate, thinking that it won’t affect them. The song ends with these words:

My words revive and cry loud for the certain sign
Till end of days sound and the earth is dry
Know this is a farewell but it’s not goodbye

This next song, the eleventh track, The Forgotten is an interesting piece for it comments on an interesting aspect of mainstream music: hip-hop. In this song, singers from a previous group known as Nine Leaves all chime in on this. The first verse is sung by Phenetix, who brings out that when it comes to competition in this industry, he would do whatever it takes to lay to rest all competition. He’s basically talking to all these psuedo-stars of the hip-hop industry, saying that they better pray that the devout “forgotten”, or the orginiators of hip-hop not find them. He calls them out, saying how they their forms are shameless and that they have forgotten where they truly came from. He ends his piece with saying to show him where your skills are at and how to basically own them.

Then, in comes a countdown (starting with 10,9,8,7…) and chorus which are excerpts from a discussion on hip-hop. Some of these would be artists are not truly orginial, they are just being told what to do, everything is scripted and pre-defined. This doesn’t need to be the case however, as it ends with Some do what they want to.

The second verse, is rhymed to by Isaac Pineda who is evidently talking to some of his fellow cohorts, saying how the love of his life isn’t treating them right. He blames this on them as a group, as he says that their love is deep and he only writes once a week, never held a gun, never spent time in jail, and how his life is great. He rhymes in a SUIT, not in gold chains and baggy pants as most of the rappers today are. His pursuit of happiness is to bring out the truth, not lies. He isn’t planning to change up how he does things. He remarks how both he and his friends, who are still following, the way of hip-hop as it changed drastically, down through the years, both still eat. He says to don’t hate his new way of life and that while they might still frequent the club scene with shades or sunglasses, he’ll sport them where they really meant to be- the beach.

The countdown and chorus come in again, and from the same discussion on hip-hop, the point is made that the hip-hop of today has become big buisness for the corporations. The true hip-hop did not come from this, and that there is a whole other side of hip hop all over the world.

The third verse is sung by Isaac Stang, who mentions that the singers of “hip-hop” have forgotten, how hip hop has become degraded.
He says that the stars are mere puppets of the larger corporate folks, who have the control. They truly control everything. Think about it; when a famous person walks through a crowd, notice how they can’t directly look at the fans. THAT is part of it as well. Stang brings out that they had the chance of exposure to the light but prefer to be manipulated by these greedy individuals.

The chorus/countdown for a third time comes up with points from the same dicussion on hip-hop, that people are forgetting who they really are, the true nature of hip-hop culture, and why it is that they are doing this.

The fourth and final verse is brung out by the main guy- Zack Hemsey, I must admit that when I first heard this part of this song, I was thrown off, he’s actually pretty good at this! He says that if these artists ever had the feeling of being in slow motion or a vision showing that their future is just plain terrible. He brings it like how it is, telling them if they were swayed by the managers to go for the immediate prize. Zack says that he’s moving forward while they are just building all lies. He is coming out to expose them as they are and destroying their false disguises, and he ends it with these words:

And when the rug gets pulled and the mirror brings its surprise
Look into your eyes with the question of “who am I”

The twelfth track is So Many Trails, So Many Tears, this was a bonus track. It is a somber song, with the theme of ardous journerys and tears along with it.

The thirteenth and final track of this album is I’ll Find A Way. It is sung by Zack Hemsey and accompanied by the lovely Heather Bolan with her timely vocals. This song touches on the state of the modern world as we know today.

It begins with Zack saying how he’s heard that they, or scientists and other intelligent ones, have found a way to no set place. He asks if they can engineer a world in which there no negative events occuring. Science has made huge strides in the way of medicine and technology. Even though, there is technology to allow one to see thru walls, can science see his own personal scars, or would that be too much to ask? They can journey to the stars in shuttles, and have vaccines but they can’t really solve the root of the world’s problems- that of emotional and social in nature.

Then comes the chorus of Bolan, saying:

My whole life’s passing me by
As I sit and wonder why
I’ll find a way

People say that tomorrow brings a brighter day, but they really don’t know about the craziness that goes on at that specific moment. Hemsey says that this is OK, since he’s says that he feels whole like a complete person. He acknoledges an important turth- of how nothing is permanent and can go away in an instant. He feels pure intention within him, but even so, he admits he may not know the complete way out of the problems. He is evidently talking to his wife/girlfriend saying that while he loves her, she is not the only thing that can make him whole. Then, he boldly states that he isn’t afraid of what the world will throw at him and he encourages the listeners to rise above the feelings of shame and guilt
, anger and trade that all for the will to perserve.

Zack asks how long can one survive among the horror in the world and the need to walk among the living,as one finds a way to last. He says not to give up, for here is where he concludes:

How long can I survive this for
How long can I abate this for
How long can I remain this strong
Well how long can I just sing this song

I’ll find a way

And that’s it! So, wrapped your head around it. Well, I had to in order to write this piece, LOL. Thanks for reading though and this album was truly unique. Hope you enjoyed my review.

Take care.

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