Album Review: Love Is a Basic Need by Embrace

Posted by Bianca on Saturday Feb 24, 2018 Under Album Review

Review by Fran Prince

Twenty years on from their debut album ‘The Good Will Out’ and Yorkshire’s euphoric alt-rock sound comes from fivesome, Embrace, who are to make yet another comeback with their seventh album ‘Love Is a Basic Need’ to be released on March 2nd with Cooking Vinyl.


The lads hit us yet again with their Gallagher styled swagger and an early indie ballad clarity that draws the emotional resemblance of Coldplay come R.E.M.

With their original sound almost re-born, Brothers Danny McNamara and Richard McNamara along with Steve Firth, Mickey Dale and Mike Heaton bring us an anthology of songs dedicated to love and relationships, which clearly wrote the title for them.

Danny says: “Most people remember to eat, breathe and drink, but too many of us forget about love until it’s too late. The album is about the realisation that without food or water or shelter you die, but the same is also true of love.”

Starting (unusually) with single The Finish Line, Danny’s haunting vocals exude emotion right from the first chord struck, echoic ambient rhythms are performed with grace and the lyrics draw attention to everyday life.

Freshly released track Never is a vocal duet that much like that of Nelly Furtado and James Morrison’s ‘Broken Strings’, the lyrics describe a toxic relationship that neither participant will give up, female vocalist Kerri Watt compliments lead Danny McNamara’s plaintive indie rock sound, a harmonious collaboration that instantly situates us into a love story between two devotees almost harmful to be within.

Now every album includes that one song that’s a foot pusher on your cars accelerator, and Wake Up Call is just that. You can’t help but resonate the emphatic chorus “I’m Wide Awake” an ear blazing sound which is a symbolic representation of a relationship gone sour.

The soft piano intro to Snake Oil slows the pace like an ex-Coldplay symphony that tears through your emotions. Much like Chris Martin, Danny is able to grip you as he hits a higher octave and demonstrates his powerful vocal range.


Where You Sleeping steadily builds up a foot-tapping bass which eventually ruptures into a heavy beat that pumps the blood through our veins whilst following track All That Remains is overcast with a synthesised element heightened by choral episodes.

The entire playlist produces string laden ballads that lays bare Danny’s vocal talent and makes love seem transparent through the journey telling lyrics of tracks like Horseshoe In My Glove and Rabbit Hole.

Aptly releasing title track Love Is a Basic Need on Valentine’s Day, the guitar led opening reminds me of that of early Stereophonics, with a narrative chorus backed by a choir, this classic track is the lengthiest on the album and concludes the underlying moral of the album.

Let it be known that this album will familiarise you with the importance of love no matter what form it takes and this bands encyclopaedia of tracks will inform you of all types via their rock ballad melodies, certainly one add to your discography.

Love Is a Basic Need – released 2nd March 2018

Embrace Tour Dates 2018:

Wed 28 – GLASGOW Academy
Thu 29 – NEWCASTLE Northumbria Institute
Fri 30 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Sat 31 – MANCHESTER Ritz
Sun 01 – CARDIFF Tramshed
Mon 02 – SOUTHAMPTON Engine Rooms
Wed 04 – NORWICH Epic
Thu 05 – BIRMINGHAM Institute
Fri 06 – LONDON Shepherds Bush Empire
Sat 07 – LEEDS Academy

Tickets are available here:

2 Responses to “Album Review: Love Is a Basic Need by Embrace”

  1. Carl Schönbeck Says:

    Stunning album in every way! Embrace has pulled it off for the 7th time! Pure Britpop Miraclia!

  2. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Embrace at Rock City, Nottingham, UK – 30th March 2018 Says:

    […] for a number of us oldies, they kicked off with ‘Wake Up Call’ from their newest album release ‘Love is a Basic Need’. Instantly recognisable as an ‘Embrace staple’ it had all the hallmarks of the Leeds […]

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