|Joan As Police Woman||Damned Devotion|
Joan As Police Woman — Damned Devotion (Feb 9th 2018) ?↑? Toto je klasická kolizní teorie těla. Království konfliktu zákonů je v hluboké bažině, plné potřeštěných bláznů a oplývá učenými, ale excentrickými profesory, kteří teoretizují tajemné záležitosti v podivném a nepochopitelném žargonu. Obecný soud nebo advokát je docela ztracen, když je do toho soukolí zapleten a širokou papulí pohlcen. Široká škála projektů, na nichž se Joan Wasser podílela od svého studia na Bostonské univerzitě počátkem devadesátých let, je svědectvím hudebních vizí. Hrát na housle začala v městském symfonickém orchestru, v průběhu let byla také členem několika rockových kapel v periodě, která se datuje k pozdnímu a velkému období Jeffa Buckleyho. Toto čerstvé album není úplně nejvíc, co umí. Ale zatímco Damned Devotion není to album ‘Policejní ženy’ určené k co nejvíce ‘zatčených’ fans, přesto je album solidní ukázkou umělkyně, která má vždycky co říct. Hektické perkuse jsou rozhodně moderní. Abstraktní a křupavé beaty tvoří páteř alba, které ztělesňuje konfrontaci, konflikt a ztrátu. Láska zde sice převládá, ale snadné vítězství to není. V úvodním manifestu Wonderful se ptá: budu muset bojovat, abych to překonala? Mezitím křiklavé perkuse v jinak hedvábné Valid Jagger a I Do not Mind vnímám jako jizvy po bitvě. To je nejsilnější hudební moment díky svému Nordu, Rhodes pianu a organu. Podobně v Silly Me klávesy dávají zapomenout i na Patricka Moraze nebo Ricka Wakemana v Šesti ženách Henryho VIII. Jako vždy, i zde je Wasser skladatelkou, která se nebojí zabývat tvrdou prací partnerských vztahů. Umístila základy pro komunikaci na toto téma v Tell Me a zkoumá politickou stránku hraničních problémů v The Silence, která vrcholí zuřivým voláním Moje tělo / Můj výběr / Jejich tělo / Jejich volba. Mistrovský způsob, jakým se Joan vyrovnává s náročnými momenty, jako jsou tyto, dělá z Damned Devotion jedním z nejkompletnějších a nejodvážnějších portrétů svého umění. Sought~after multi~instrumentalist strikes out with her own, semi~eponymous pop~folk project.
Birth name: Joan Wasser
Born: July 26, 1970, Saint Andre, Biddeford, Maine
Origin: Norwalk, Connecticut, United States
Instruments: Vocals, violin, guitar, piano
Genre: Indie, Alternative, Singer~Songwriter
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Label: Reveal Records
Album release: Feb 9th 2018
Record Label: Play It Again Sam
01. Wonderful 3:34
02. Warning Bell 3:17
03. Tell Me 3:37
04. Steed (for Jean Genet) 4:08
05. Damned Devotion 3:13
06. The Silence 4:42
07. Valid Jagger 3:28
08. Rely On 2:43
09. What Was It Like 4:12
10. Talk About It Later 2:36
11. Silly Me 3:38
12. I Don’t Mind 4:06
?♣? “Words mean different things to different people and it’s important to me to allow the listener to have images of their own. That being said, the weather cooperated with us that night — rain and moisture in the air has always made me thoughtful. We wanted to capture the mystery of New York City while driving through Chinatown and parts of Brooklyn that hold deep meaning for me.” (Joan)
?♣? JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN returns with a new album, Damned Devotion, and it’s her best yet.
?♣? Already acknowledged as a thrilling live performer and starkly honest lyricist, Damned Devotion finds Joan Wasser at her rawest. While her 2014 album The Classic was a soulful celebration of life and her 2011 album The Deep Field a lush moody expansion, this new release sees her stripping her compositions back to the core, the bare~all lyricism and timeless melodies harking back to her accolade-winning album To Survive (2008) and the universally acclaimed debut album Real Life (2006). Joan: “My maxim is: if it feels scary to say it, it’s the thing you must say”. And on Damned Devotion the thoughtful lyricism is married to Joan’s most accessible music to date.
?♣? The first track to be shared from the album is Warning Bell, a tender, bewitching song of regret Joan wrote about “being a romantic and the naiveté that goes along with it.”
?♣? Famously a collaborator and muse to artists as diverse as Anohni, Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed and Beck, since the release of her last album Joan has worked alongside fashion designers Viktor & Rolf as well as a growing list of musicians including Sufjan Stevens, Lau, RZA and most recently Daniel Johnston.
?♣? “I say yes to almost everything,” she admits. “I just want to be making music all the time. I can comfortably say that music has saved my life and continues to save my life. I am a devotee. It’s not something I can even choose or not choose, it’s just what is.”… Damned Devotion
Praise for Joan As Police Woman:
?♣? The Times — ‘The coolest woman in pop’
?♣? Uncut — ‘This is breathtakingly good music'
?♣? Mojo — ‘Full of meditative beauty…ravishing and lovelorn’
?♣? Sunday Times — ‘Sensational’
?♣? The Guardian — ‘A voice so wondrous and moving that it makes everyone else’s seem ordinary and mundane’.
By Abigail Evans / 08 FEBRUARY 2018, 11:30 GMT / Score: 8
♦δ♦ Joan As Police Woman’s Damned Devotion is a brilliant self help tome.
♦δ♦ For Damned Devotion, Joan Wasser has taken a humanistic approach, interacting with people to inform the creative process and content of an album in search of answers to a “subject I’ve been tangling with all my life: how does one live a devoted life without becoming obsessed or losing one’s mind?”.
♦δ♦ Using her extensive music vocabulary, Wasser — aka Joan As Police Woman — calls upon the great Leonard Cohen for the track “Silence” — “and I’m told that wounds are where the light gets in” referencing his infamous lyric to inform her own mantra for dealing with the pains of devotion.
♦δ♦ Wasser also draws from her musical contemporaries, employing a new creative process in the writing of her latest release, “manipulating (drummer) Parker Kindred’s live beats as templates for new songs.” Starting from her band mates’ drum beats as a basis for tracks, it’s clear that Wasser is a collaborator at heart, utilising the people around her to help fathom greater things. She says other people “always bring something else that you wouldn’t make yourself”. ***
♦δ♦ Standout track “Tell Me” is a cry for transparency from her partner and the continual questioning of “Tell me, tell me, tell me / what, what, what do you want” is ironically cathartic. Music for Wasser is therapy, telling the BBC that “whenever I’ve been in the most amount of pain, music has allowed me to further feel my feelings, which always helps to move through them and then has also given me hope.”
♦δ♦ Romantically confused, Wasser has drawn strength, inspiration and guidance from people through music to better understand relationships on this album. Damned Devotion is a brilliant self~help resource. ♦δ♦ https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
By Chris White | first published: 5 Feb 2018 | Score: ***½
♦δ♦ The sheer range of projects Joan Wasser has been involved with since studying at Boston University in the early 1990s bears testament to her musical vision. Having started out playing violin in the city’s symphony orchestra, she was also a member of several rock bands in a period during which she also dated the late, great Jeff Buckley.
♦δ♦ By 2002 she was recording her own songs under the name Joan As Police Woman, and has gone on to release five studio albums, while at the same time working as a violinist for hire with artists as diverse as Sheryl Crow, Rufus Wainwright and Antony And The Johnsons.
♦δ♦ She’s also developed a passion for African music, travelling to Ethiopia to work on Damon Albarn‘s Africa Express project. Since the release of her last album — 2016’s collaboration with Benjamin Lazar Davis, Let It Be You — alone, Joan has worked alongside fashion designers Viktor & Rolf as well as a list of musicians including Sufjan Stevens, RZA and most recently Daniel Johnston. As the singer herself admits, “I say yes to almost everything.”
♦δ♦ Over her career, Joan has developed a sound not dissimilar to fellow Americans Cat Power and St Vincent, albeit slightly poppier than the former and less wilfully strange than the latter. While Let It Be You was an unexpected tangent into the rhythms of the pygmy music of the Central African Republic, generally speaking her music has become fuller and more expansive over the years, with the simple, confessional angst of her 2006 debut Real Life evolving into the lusher, more soulful timbres of later records like 2014’s The Classic. Damned Devotion finds Joan stripping her compositions back once again to something closer to her earlier work, although the musical backdrop lacks the organic fragility of Real Life, which it seems may have gone forever from her sound.
♦δ♦ The single Warning Bell offered a solid benchmark for the album that follows: replete with as starkly honest storytelling as ever with its tale of romantic regret; stripped back, yes, but still with a hefty dollop of soul, and featuring electronic textures and beats rather than ‘real’ instruments. These elements predominate throughout Damned Devotion, whether it’s the echoing vocals and R&B swing of Tell Me, the discordant, dysfunctional Rely On, or opening track Wonderful’s languid, smoky croon.
♦δ♦ There are nuances, too: the title track’s soaring, ethereal chorus is the closest Joan gets to St Vincent’s arthouse anthemics, and The Silence’s aggressive chanting and scabrous synths, which carry a hint of Siouxsie And The Banshees. The album peaks with the elegantly chilly Valid Jogger, in which Joan implores “sing, don’t lie to me” above a gently oscillating electric piano and skittering percussion.
♦δ♦ Lyrically, she remains a distinctive voice, with lines like Warning Bell’s “Even in the water/ you are so soft in the corner/ soft where you shouldn’t be/ and I just died for it every time” typifying her gift for original, vulnerable, slightly unsettling imagery. ♦δ♦ Where Damned Devotion falls a little short is in the quality of its tunes, with some tracks lacking zest and winning hooks — the Dido~like blandness of What Was It Like is particularly culpable. But while Damned Devotion is not the Police Woman at her most arresting, it is nevertheless a solid showing from a performer who always has plenty to say. ♦δ♦ https://www.musicomh.com/
Website: http://joanaspolicewoman.com/ // Label: https://www.pias.com/
Reveal Records: http://revealrecords.co.uk/artists/joan-as-police-woman/
|Joan As Police Woman||Damned Devotion|