Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Aside from having the second most head-scratching name I’ve heard recently for a band (first place goes to “Portugal. The Man.”) Joan as Police Woman was actually pleasantly surprising. Lead creative force Joan Wasser has been quietly doing her thing in the Indie music scene of America for some time now, and this, her 4th album, shows her own unique talent in a very positive way.
What I like a lot about this album is that it feels very personally crafted, there are only ten or so songs, which feels like the result of deciding which ones were really, truly good enough to go on, before making the final call. Joan is very musically capable, and plays a great variety of instruments herself, and knows when to bring forward or pull back an instrument against the vocals at the appropriate time. It feels very much like a Fiona Apple album, by which I mean it sounds like the artist is speaking directly, one on one to the audience on a very personal level, and that we, the passive listeners are still somehow part of this dialogue.
There’s a nice variety in the tracks, although they are all definitely by the same woman, and Joan does manage to alternate between more fun tracks and more emotionally expressive tracks, and I personally found her slight southern accent and country voice to accent her work very nicely, rather than forcing herself to sing like every other figure in the indie scene these days. This is also quite a retro album, it feels like it could have come out in the heights of the hippie days of the 60s and 70s, and has a very organic feel, untouched by rampart computer alterations.
The Classic isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s not even especially mine, but at the least I can see the effort and work that went into it, and the talent behind it from a real musician.