Joan As Police Woman – “The Classic”
This is the fourth album of originals from the artist known as Joan As Police Woman, and the confidence in its quality is highlighted by the title. It is therefore not surprising to head that Joan Wasser has declared that she is “ in the best place I’ve ever been in my life”. The album has a liberated feel, as it blends a variety of influences and styles.
“Witness” opens with a drum roll and then slowly builds up until the passionate and soulful vocals enter the song. Then we see a track which is full of soul, but also has a sort of Latino feel to it, it’s a strange but brilliant mix. The eclectic nature of the album is also demonstrated on the title track, “The Classic”. This is almost a Doo Wop song, but with what sounds like a human beat box behind it. The eccentric feel of the songs continues with “What Would You Do”. It’s a track which has an almost haunting and quite scary feel to it, before it moves in to a more soulful chorus.
In contrast, single “Holy City” is a huge tune, built for playing loud and dancing along to on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s a perfect blend of old school, Motown soul, with an indie sensibility. This feel returns later on with “Shame” which has some wonderful, lush backing vocals and the use of a brass section which really lifts the song. It could easily be a huge single as it just has a great good time vibe to it.
“Good Together” is like some epic Bond theme number. It’s a slow and hypnotic track, with the only fault being it doesn’t quite build up to the huge chorus you would expect. “Get Direct” follows and is almost like a chill out track but with a real feel of a Prince influence underneath it all. Then “Stay” is a slower track but this time they keep it relatively simple and it ends up like another post club chill out tune. The whole album then ends by throwing in a reggae style feel on to “Ask Me”, just to ensure the album covers just about every genre of music.
The term eclectic is really perfect for this album. It really is as mad as a box of frogs! The longer, slower tracks in the middle of the album bring the tempo and feel down, but in many ways it helps to really highlight the light and more upbeat songs at the beginning and end. It certainly demonstrates that Joan As Police Woman are a unique band, who are able to produce a diverse and interesting album which is really impossible to compare to anyone else. In a world of identikit acts, that alone is worth applauding.