Caroline Where's My Love

Electronic production has long been emo’s safety sheath. The likes of the Postal Service and Styrofoam have managed to safeguard a heavily derided genre by adding a protective layer of liquid crystal and presenting it to a broader audience. All this safe space for feelings, however, has caused emotions to overpopulate, and computer processing can no longer shield this music from the cynics. Caroline is a newborn emo/electro mutt who has a new idea to save her home genre: on this single, she ceremoniously gives birth to the contemporary emo show tune. Picture "Castle on a Cloud” from Les Misérables (same kind of voice and all) performed on a laptop, with some very pretty chimes, gentle keyboards, and a dash of Disney. This new thing is beyond reproach in terms of "realness” — nobody is surprised by schmaltz when they go to see Les Mis, and likewise, they shouldn't find it offensive here. Her music is more earnest than the average Disney flick, but remember that Andrew Lloyd Webber himself has written some riveting, relatively sincere tunes of his own, and that that sort of comparison is not necessarily shameful. Caroline straddles the line between that and indie bubblegum pop, similar to Cibo Matto's Stereo Type A album. While I'm sure it'll appeal more to young dreamers than to middle-aged theatre-goers, it's got enough camp in it to stave off insults — those who would hate it should know well enough not to get close. (Temporary Residence)