Joan As Policewoman - To America (Reveal Records)

Steven Storrie | Monday, 10 November 2008

Joan As Policewoman - To America (Reveal Records)

The first thing of note on 'To America', of course, is Joan's beautiful, breathy vocal. At once haunting and evocative, breezing over the gentle piano underpinning the song, Joan asks: "Is it right my love?/Is it right?/Are you happy inside your arms?/Can't you see your lover fall apart in her silk threads?" It's a striking image to open with.

The song takes a melancholy turn, as soft strains of violin soothe the soul and nestle in with the piano. Then the voice changes as long-time friend and supporter Rufus Wainwright joins in the fray. Though Wainwright sings well, the song would be better as a solo for the Policewoman, as it feels somewhat disjointed once Wainwright puts his falsetto to it, becoming a song of two halves rather than just the whole.

Next comes redemption. A sound that could be rolling drums or crashing waves comes rushing over the melody and out of nowhere a mini-celebration breaks out, with horns picking up the pace. "To America, America/Alone, alone/Alarm, alive," Joan sings, her beautiful lush vocals providing the song's best moment.

This is, then, perhaps a love letter to the States. Either way, it's more evidence of Wasser's shining talent. In fact, here she makes it seem effortless. It feels like a gift dropped nonchalantly into your lap - a gift that is more than welcome.

Rating: 3/5