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Album-Review: Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You

On her newest album, Caroline Polachek becomes a true musical relative to art pop's greatest icons.

There's so much to say about this album that I feel like rather saying nothing. 

Desire, I Want To Turn Into You is a victory for Caroline Polachek. While her style is often compared to Kate Bush's, it is the way she makes pop music that truly makes her a to relative to pop's most strange and artsy icons. Stylistically, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You has some more: glimpses of hyperpop, progressive pop, art pop, even a flamenco-inspired track called Sunset (funnily enough, Kate Bush has a flamenco-inspired track called Sunset as well). While some of the songs might seem underwritten at first glance, especially after the incredible run of singles Polachek released and the anthemic Welcome To My Island opening the album, repeated listens made my cautious fascination with the album turn into love at a rapid pace. So much so that I even debated giving it a 9. There are a few things holding me back as of now. Firstly, I think Bunny Is A Rider doesn't sit quite right with the album – and I'm not a huge fan of the song as a single either. It's just a little to quirky, repetitive, stylized and skeletal in my opinion. Secondly, I think the album tracks still don't quite match the power of the singles. I don't mind the slow pace of some of them anymore though. Except for Bunny Is A Rider, every song contributes to the album as a whole, with some of them even bringing back musical motifs from other cuts (e.g. the hookline of Pretty In Possible being repeated in Smoke or Blood and Butter citing Bunny Is a Rider). At the centre of it all are Caroline Polachek's immaculate vocals which reach some unbelievable heights, most notably on the incredible electronic cut I Believe, where her final repitition of the refrain is an octave higher than normal. That is some incredible control and range as she still sounds beatiful and clean in these heights. 

Desire, I Want To Turn Into You is an album I'd recommend to anyone who likes art pop. It's a true masterpiece that will only grow in the future. And grow it did.

9 / 10

  1. Welcome To My Island | 90
  2. Pretty In Possible | 85
  3. Bunny Is A Rider | 80
  4. Sunset | 85
  5. Crude Drawing Of An Angel | 80
  6. I Believe | 85
  7. Fly To You | 75
  8. Blood And Butter | 90
  9. Hopedrunk Everasking | 75
  10. Butterfly Net | 85
  11. Smoke | 85
  12. Billions | 95