Shulamith by Polica Review
Polica, an indie group from Minneapolis, made waves with Gives You the Ghost last year, giving their sophomore album, Shulamith, big shoes to fill. Some people may say they did a spectacular job with Shulamith, but listening closer reveals a collection of auto-tuned, uniform tracks that are on the verge of being great but are missing an added piece of originality to take them there.
The lyrics can be very deep and thought-provoking, making you contemplate their meaning long after the album is finished. However, the strange, electro-pop, alternative-R&B beats take away from the beauty of front-woman Channy Leaneagh’s angelic voice. Overall, Shulamith has a strange tempo that is too slow to be played on a dance floor but too fast to chill out to after a long day. A few songs stand out for their strangely melancholic, original sound, like Torre and Matty, but besides these hidden gems the rest of the tracks feel identical and almost too-perfect, like they were made with a checklist nearby of how this genre is “supposed” to sound. Each song starts with a tolerable beat, picks up the pace once the lyrics begin, adds a little bit of rhythmic flair when the chorus hits, and then keeps the same beat the rest of the time with little to no variety throughout.
I would recommend Shulamith to any hipster who enjoys sitting around a table with friends debating the pros and cons of free energy. The lyrics have the ability to spark deep conversations about common cultural ideas and the effects of materialism in society. But, if you are looking for an album that will suck you into its deep, musical waters, or one that will keep you awake on a long car ride, this is not for you. There is enough cookie-cutter, by-the-book albums out there already, and if Polica would have stepped a little outside the box Shulamith could have been an album for the ages.