POLIÇA - Shulamith - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

POLIÇA - Shulamith

by Greg Spencer Rating:8 Release Date:2013-10-21

The vibrant, synth-heavy opening to Shulamith comes in the form of 'Chain My Name', and it makes you forget that this album has its thesis around a particular brand of feminist politics (author Shulamith Firestone was one of the leading shapers of radical feminism) and that the album isn't just a light-hearted pop release to be frittered away with the rest. That's what Polica do fantastically well throughout this record; they explore serious and slightly demanding subjects while simultaneously making a cracking pop album. It has its dark moments but it's a solemnity which paces the record and keeps it ticking away.

Musically this band are very astute, not only is the album atmospheric from the get-go. There's a feeling of slickness to every note on Shulamith. It feels like the music is so effortless to this band. Take a song like 'Warrior Lord'. Quite frankly, I don't care what the song is about because it has such a relaxed vibe to it that the desire to find meanings behind certain songs takes a back-seat. The music is of such a high quality that you become entranced by it.

This relaxed nature of some of the songs ('Very Cruel', for instance) does pose some questions about how pumped-up you can get about this band. That song in particular isn't one of the strongest on the album and drags a little. So the down-tempo stuff works on some occasions and doesn't on others. As a whole, it isn't a fast-paced album. Opinions will be divided but I certainly thought the slightly faster numbers like 'Spilling Lines' seemed to have much more about them than the verging-on-monotonous, slowed-down tracks.

Overall, the album is great. It's different to most things that are coming out of the synth-pop genre. Channy Leaneagh's haunting vocals act as a magnetic force. You find yourself listening to the record a few times over to actually 'get' it and warming to the band's style and all their nuances. It's a record that isn't done justice by wordy descriptions; it just needs to be turned up loud and experienced.

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