Emm Gryner – Business & Pleasure

Emm Gryner - Business & Pleasure



4.0/5 Pros

  • Beautiful vocals
  • Nice, nostalgic sound
  • Two beautiful ballads Cons

  • Songs too similar

Business & Pleasure is already the twentieth album (studio and live) of Emm Gryner, on top of four EPs. Additionally to this anniversary, she was part of David Bowie’s band and also took part in some other interesting projects. As I received her 14th April 2023 publication right before the in-fact release date, I just had to have a listen to the album.


Emm Gryner – About The Artist

Emm Gryner was born in Sarnia, Ontario, close to Lake Huron. Apart from her Canadian origin, she has Filipino roots. After school, she started to pursue her music career in Toronto. Her song Wisdom Bus won a nationwide contest and lead to her first album releases in the mid-1990’s. One of the most remarkable achievements of her career was arranging the first-ever music video recorded in space, when Chris Hadfield performed Space Oddity on the International Space Station. Business & Pleasure is mainly featuring songs in line with 2020’s yacht rock styles.


Emm Gryner – Business & Pleasure – Track by Track

The eleven song album lasts 49 minutes.

1. Loose Wig

Loose Wig opens the album with a nice groove and brass sounds. Cool, laid back rock-pop sound, which rather reminds me of the 1990’s than of modern style sound. I really like it, also the funky accents on this rather melodic song.

2. Jack

All we need is a little more Jack. In a country song, this would definitely be a praise to whiskey – but here it is rather a praise of the 1984 All I Need by Jack Wagner. There are some similarities to the opening songs, but this single release is a really nice one.

3. Valencia (extended version)

Emm Gryner released this extended version of Valencia in parallel to the “normal” one, which is about a minute shorter. Again, the song feels like the 1980’s and 1990’s and catches with a great chorus. Lovely one.

4. Summertime

With Summertime, there is not only a sunshine feeling, but also stronger vibes of soul and funk in Business & Pleasure. Nice vibes, which are are again driven by brass sounds and nice bass grooves.

5. The Chance

The Chance is another pop-rock song with a nice drive. Again, the chorus is the melodic highlight of the composition. The slower bridge is also a key element of the recording. With the line business and pleasure, baby, let it burn, it is also the hidden title track of the album.

6. Queen

After quite some similarities here and there, the piano ballad Queen is highly appreciated. I love the warmth and intensity in Gryner’s voice in here, which finally turns the song into one of my favorite listens.

I’m queen
Tonight no-one tells me
Who I’m supposed to be
I dig myself out
To infinity
And no-one takes me down
With the warpaint on

7. The Second Coming

The seventh song comes with a strong funk touch again. The song reminds me of some former Emma Bunton tracks, which is also due to very similar vocals styles. Thumbs up for this one.

8. Strangers and Saints

The slower Strangers and Saints reminds of lounge music and even feels a bit of jazzy here and there. The organ and some strings are the key musical elements of this one, which leaves a very unique and characteristic mark. Beautiful, picturesque lyrics.

9. Burn The Boats

The ninth track is rather orientating towards the songs which opened the album. A nice song individually, but I am rather looking for some new inspirations and alternative tunes right now.

10. Don’t Give In

The second last song is a bit more rocking. The guitars play a stronger role in this song. If that was a late 1980’s or early 1990’s song, I am sure we would still be singing it today.

11. Real Love

The second ballad of the album closes Business & Pleasure. Even more than Queen, the song underlines the amazing vocal qualities of the artist. Beautiful.


Emm Gryner – Business & Pleasure – Track by Track

Here is the album on Spotify:


Emm Gryner – Business & Pleasure – Track by Track

There are so many really good songs on Business & Pleasure – I really hate it that I don’t go for the very highest ratings here. The reason is simply that there are too strong similarities – which is really a shame. Emm Gryner shows her musical qualities and also a certain range of sounds in this 2023 album, but finally falls back to a certain median too often. Still, of course, a good listen.


Canada 2023

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