Where is my culture? Where is my well-versed index of music terminology to widen my vocabulary in times like this?
When I try to explain how I feel about Caroline Polachek (CP)’s sophomore album - under this moniker at least - I am left with only caveman words, for I cannot express myself like she can.
I like album. Has good sounds.
How else can you explain the thing without getting too pretentious? I could say electro-pop - even though I don't know what it means. I could say minimalist - even though deconstruction spread from the chef's plate to the musical years ago and I've heard more janky things than this one...
One way I would describe it is: interesting.
With these kinds of things, I just can't settle on a single descriptor, and instead just tell people to listen to it themselves to get a feel of it. But this is a review and I've been told things have to be more specific in this format... So instead, I will say that CP reveals her inner self in this immaculate album, taking the time to relish in her personality and reveal the things she loves. In fact, she does the listener the convenience of putting all of these things and more into a delicate package of songs presented in the form of them stepping onto her island.
When she welcomes us to her island in the first track 'Welcome to my Island', she repeats two lines of lyrics untold times in varied deliveries. From there she begins to indulge. Most of her songs, if you've ever listened to her work before, are relatively slow - bordering into ballad territory. But she's at her best either when soaring those buttery vocals of hers into the stratosphere or in the more poppy beats like my personal favourite, 'Bunny is a Rider'.
Like I say, music can be hard to pin to a review, and I often find the feeling it leaves you with a more accurate descriptor that you can describe to others. But if you like music that makes you feel, turn into desire and step onto CP's island. You won't want to leave.