Monday, October 21, 2013

Artist of the Day: Poliça

Released last February, Poliça's Give You the Ghost was an album of contradictions. A unanimous hit among critics, the Minneapolis group's debut nevertheless felt strangely unfulfilled - apparently housing every element required for greatness, yet rarely threatening to culminate or piece them all together. An intriguing chin-stroker of a LP, it bore all the hallmarks of a grower, but refused to surrender its secrets upon further inspection, and what's more its supposed strengths could likewise be construed as crucial flaws. Indeed, for all its sleekness, dexterity and enveloping weight, their fragmented R&B sound fell some way short in its search for memorable hooks, while Channy Leaneagh's vocals often sounded smothered; burdened by a heap of effects which all but drowned out its evocative range. Above all, however, it struck of a group set in their ways, but unable to execute them; one offering a wealth of valuable innovations, yet lacking the songwriting nous with which they could flourish.

With such a conflicting entrance, Poliça's next move was always going to be vital regarding their long-term prospects, and as such the progress shown on Shulamith can only be encouraging. Granted, the new record finds them evolving subtly as opposed to happening upon a eureka! moment, but these gentle amendments still go some way in lifting it a notch above its predecessor. Best sampled through opener "Chain My Name," it suffers from familiar pitfalls, yet represents an crucial upward step - touchstone from which they can begin fulfilling their undeniable studio promise.


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