Out of Nothing

Out of Nothing
Out of Nothing
Studio album by Embrace
Released 13 September 2004
Recorded Olympic Studios, London
Genre Alternative
Length 47:24
Label Independiente ISOM45CD
Producer Youth, Embrace
Embrace chronology
Fireworks: The Singles 1997-2002
Out of Nothing
Dry Kids: B-Sides 1997-2005
Singles from Out of Nothing
  1. "Gravity"
    Released: 30 August 2004
  2. "Ashes"
    Released: 15 November 2004
  3. "Looking As You Are"
    Released: 14 February 2005
  4. "A Glorious Day"
    Released: 30 May 2005
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Stylus Magazine (A) [1]
Allmusic 4/5 stars [2]
Pitchfork Media (7.3/10) [3]
Lost at Sea (6.5/10) [4]
Dotmusic 6/10 stars [5]
Uncut 3/5 stars [6]
Prefix Magazine 5/10 stars [7]
The Guardian 2/5 stars [8]
PopMatters 2/10 stars [9]

Out of Nothing is the fourth studio album by English rock band Embrace. It was released on 13 September 2004 through Independiente Records. It went straight in at number one on the official UK charts, going double platinum, selling more than 600,000 copies in the UK, making it their best selling album and their most critically acclaimed since their debut album The Good Will Out. It was a much-anticipated release, as Embrace had not released any new material for three years.



After the release of Embrace's third album, 2001's If You've Never Been, which debuted at number 9 on the UK charts and dropped off completely after three weeks, the band were dropped by their record label, Hut, in 2002. Though they were almost immediately picked up thereafter by Independiente, whose founder and managing director, Andy MacDonald, was a long-time fan of the band, Embrace admittedly had a lot of writing and recording to do before they would have enough quality material for a fourth album.

For two years, Embrace wrote and recorded songs on tape, resulting in an immense amount of possible album material, 500 "songs and half-songs" compiled on 52 C90 tapes. In December 2003, after four listening sessions spread over two years, MacDonald finally gave the go-ahead to the band to begin recording for their next album. Later that month, Embrace played three secret gigs as "The Good Good People" at Leeds' Cockpit in order to "road test" the new material in preparation for recording.[10]

The band brought in Youth to produce, having had good experiences with his production on singles All You Good Good People and Come Back to What You Know from their first album, The Good Will Out. Most of the band were excited about the effect that bringing new leadership into the studio was having on their music, but Danny McNamara, the band's lead singer, had a tough time adjusting to Youth's production style: "January, February and March this year were the hardest time of my life. I was getting four hours sleep a night. Every morning I'd get up and have to take a pill just to stay calm that day. The amount of arguments and throwing shit...It was really intense." Youth changed McNamara's song structures, his lyrics, and pushed him to sing with more emotion. Said McNamara: "There were times I hated him. I'd ring our manager and have meetings with the label, where I'd say, 'Look, can you tell him who's boss? 'Cause he's not listening to me.'" Thankfully, the label kept its position that Youth was in charge, because gradually, things started to click between the band and its producer. McNamara eventually changed his tune, saying, "I think I've grown as a person...the idea of relinquishing control and just having a bit of belief and faith in someone else is new to me in my thirty-three years. And it's paid off. I've left my ego at the door." Several songs began to take shape and sound that had previously eluded the band.

Out of the 500 possibilities, the band eventually narrowed the list of potential album cuts down to fifteen songs, and then finally decided on the best ten. These included "Ashes," which started life in 2001 as a piano-driven ballad and eventually took the form of a four-minute long anthem of a pop song, "Someday," whose verse was written in 1997 and waited seven years for the rest of the song to show up, and "Everytime I See Your Face," a song that would never see the light of public release.[11] This was due to the addition of "Gravity," a Coldplay-penned composition that Chris Martin (good friend of Danny McNamara) gifted to Embrace after Martin decided that the song sounded a bit more like Embrace than it did Coldplay. "Everytime I See Your Face" was dropped from the album, and "Gravity" not only found itself on Out of Nothing but also in the role of comeback single, being Independiente's preferred choice over "Ashes," which had been the album's intended first single before the introduction of "Gravity." Danny McNamara referred to this decision as the "sexy angle."

The last two songs on the album, "Near Life" and the title track, were Embrace's first attempts at songwriting as a band. The success the band experienced in this process led to their next album, This New Day, being almost entirely composed of full-band compositions. [12][13]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Danny McNamara and Richard McNamara, except where noted. 

Main CD
No. Title Length
1. "Ashes"   4:22
2. "Gravity" (Guy Berryman, Jon Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin) 4:40
3. "Someday"   5:38
4. "Looking As You Are"   4:06
5. "Wish 'Em All Away"   3:59
6. "Keeping"   4:32
7. "Spell It Out"   4:57
8. "A Glorious Day"   3:52
9. "Near Life" (Embrace and Martin Glover) 5:48
10. "Out of Nothing" (Embrace and Martin Glover) 5:32

Charts, sales and procession


Chart Peak
UK Albums Chart[14] 1

Sales and Certifications

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] 2× Platinum 600,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Chart procession and succession

Preceded by
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
UK number one album
September 25, 2004 – October 1, 2004
Succeeded by
American Idiot by Green Day


  1. ^ Stylus Magazine review
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r716735
  3. ^ Pitchfork review 01/18/05
  4. ^ Lost at Sea review 07/21/05
  5. ^ Dotmusic review 09/23/04
  6. ^ Uncut review
  7. ^ Prefix Magazine review
  8. ^ The Guardian review 09/10/04
  9. ^ PopMatters review 08/29/05
  10. ^ "Embrace to begin recording fourth album with Youth...". leedsmusicscene.net. http://www.leedsmusicscene.net/article/1604/?hi=danny+mcnamara. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  11. ^ "Out of Nothing". embrace.co.uk. http://web.archive.org/web/20040806032110/http://www.embrace.co.uk/go/outofnothing/. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Danny McNamara". hybridmagazine.com. http://www.hybridmagazine.com/music/0705/embrace.shtml. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  13. ^ "Embrace Live @ Carling Bristol Academy October 5, 2004". repeatfanzine.co.uk. http://www.repeatfanzine.co.uk/interviews/embrace.htm. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  14. ^ "UK Albums Chart". Theofficialcharts.com. http://www.theofficialcharts.com/artist/_/embrace/. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  15. ^ "British album certifications – Embrace – Out of Nothing". British Phonographic Industry. http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx.  Enter Out of Nothing in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go

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