Joan As Policewoman & Benjamin Lazar Davis: Let It Be You review

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled « Joan As Policewoman & Benjamin Lazar Davis: Let It Be You review – alt-pop experiment goes off script » was written by Hannah J Davies, for The Guardian on Thursday 20th October 2016 21.15 UTC

Ten years on from her acclaimed debut, Real Life, Joan Wasser isn’t afraid to go off script; 2010’s Cover saw the Brooklyn singer-songwriter mold her rich, distinctive vocals to songs including T.I.’s Whatever You Like, while on 2014’s The Classic she ventured into pop-soul a la Winehouse. Her latest release is an alt-pop experiment with fellow New Yorker Benjamin Lazar Davis, a multi-instrumentalist of lo-fi vocal style and minimal Google presence. Although there are snatches of Wasser circa Deep Field – most notably on Magic Lamp, which feels like a coda to The Magic in more than name – things are largely experimental. The title track is a glitchy electropop number, while Easy Money is a skittish, clap-and-drum-driven tune on which Wasser half-sings, half-speaks into its offbeat hum. When Lazar Davis takes the lead, it feels like a different record – a beefed-up Vampire Weekend, perhaps. Despite a few moments of oddball brilliance (namely on Broke Me in Two) and Wasser’s ever-mesmerising tones, this is a disjointed, narrativeless collection that doesn’t quite do the pair justice.

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