Po' Girl - Follow Your Bliss - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Po' Girl - Follow Your Bliss

by Al Brown Rating:2 Release Date:2010-09-07

There's a scene in Peep Show in which Jeremy accuses his ex-girlfriend and her new beau of being too happy; of hoarding more than their share of the finite amount of happiness in the world. "That's not how it works", snaps Mark, before his internal monologue kicks in: "It totally is." I only bring this up because this CD is called Follow Your Bliss and is by a band who - judging by their laid back soul-folk and their picture on the back - are hoarding a lot of happiness from decent people like you and me. Of course, being happy is traditionally not a great place, creatively, for a musician to be: great art comes from struggle, and the last thing people want to hear about is what a skip-de-doo fucking life you have. So can this album break the mould and finally present to us the acceptable face of happy? One that doesn't seem to rub your nose in it; one that doesn't bore you shitless? No. No, it can't.

It is irredeemably dull: as the clarinet-flecked folk stomp of 'Montana' gives way to the tedious electric blues of 'When We Are Love', you could be forgiven for not having noticed. Sure, the songs are different, but they're both polite, overcooked toss. If Ally McBeal was still on TV, this band would be on the soundtrack all the time, in fact the singers' voices have a similarly beige, affected timbre to the one who played every night in that awful yuppie bar in McBeal (a lot of people considered the show aspirational at the time if you can believe it). None of this is good. The title track is especially egregious faux-soul of the McBeal variety: we get trombone, accordion and slide guitar and not a hint of inspiration.

Some of the tracks here are faux-soul, there's also fake-blues, fake-folk, even fake-klezmer. 'To the Morning' ain't bad, it has a bit of momentum at least thanks to an insistent drumbeat, but the lyrics are some sixth-form prissy-emo-scrapbook-bullshit: all "sunlight shot through barbed wire" and "The past is a tumour corrupting our lives". Really? Fuck that.

Clearly, I am not the target audience of this album, which is people in their 30s and 40s who have forgotten, or never knew, what actual heart-breaking, blood-pumping music is, and how it tattoos itself onto your very soul. Po' Girl can give me a call in 15 years' time and I'll happily revise this diatribe and give them a 10.

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