I'm not sure what this means. Tell me. The 5-10 times I have seen a band/performer described this way it makes me think the writer is a jerk. Are they saying that the band really lets it all hang out emotions-wise? What sort of performance constitutes "emotional?" Would Johnny Cash not be considered emo because he doesnt go into histrionics, growls, or yelps? Or is it supposed to mean the performer is approximating emotions? Is it the words of the songs themselves? Who the hell is the writer to say what equals emotional? Is it an ironic term meant to distance the writer from the content of the songs and elect the writer arbiter of legitimate and meaningful emotion? Is the term supposed to tug the performer into the realm of where the writer/reader can understand it? (read: limit it?)
I've only seen this term like a half a dozen times and might be totally misunderstanding. I just get the feeling it is this really reductive term in a whole new worse way than say "r & b" or "pop."
(Though "Urban" takes the prize for dangerous music descriptives)