Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Joan As Police Woman certainly has an arresting name (sorry!) but it is her remarkable voice that will capture you (and sorry again!).
Joan Wasser's debut album Real Life of two years ago was a remarkable album and was hailed at Elsewhere and elsewhere. The Guardian said of her voice that it was "so wondrous and moving that it makes everyone else's seem ordinary and mundane".
That hyperbole is pushing it, but without doubt when she sings you stop to listen.
Her new album sees a slightly different Joan however. Written mostly on piano while her mother was dying from -- and subsequently taken by -- cancer, these moving pieces address all manner of deep emotions and song titles give some clue: To Be Loved, To Be Lonely, Furious, To Survive . . .
As before she calls on some of her famous friends for assistance -- here are David Sylvian and Rufus Wainwright -- and the spare songs are sometimes embellished by horns and strings.
But this is no melancholy personal diary because she expands her lyrics to reach for universal emotions which are rendered without sentimentality. And in that compelling, assured voice.
Joan As Police Woman is a remarkable artist and two near-as-dammit perfect albums are the proof.