The smart pop of Emm Gryner's sixth full-length album, Asianblue, garnered her a 2002 Juno Award nomination for Best Pop Album. Indeed, it's a highly intelligent and melodic album, spotlighting Gryner's impeccable taste in keyboard melody lines. Album opener "Symphonic" is nothing short of magnificent with its memorable piano intro and poetic terms of endearment. All that keeps Asianblue from being an excellent album is a general lack of similarly memorable refrains among its 11 tracks. Nevertheless, Gryner's sparkling voice has sufficient combination toughness and sweetness to retain credibility in all subjects and tempos, and her lyrics once again strike just the right balance between originality and accessibility. Asianblue is refreshingly clich‚-free, and its songs carry a thematic unity worth several listens. Too bad American audiences had to wait until well into 2003 to get a taste of it. ~ Joseph McCombs
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