Polica will challenge your music tastes

Published 6:50 pm Saturday, April 7, 2012

I hate copy-cat acts, which is ironic considering my still burning and conflicted love affair with 80s hair metal. But enough of my personal hang-ups.

Polica (pronounced POE-LISA) is a prime example of a band who walks its own path and while not necessarily my kind of music, is an interesting reprieve from the rest of my collection.

Simply defined, Polica is an electric dream consisting of singer Channy Leaneagh’s electronic-laced vocals at the front of a four-piece act that consists of heavy synth sounds. It screams experimental, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but in reality it’s a carefully guided dream through clouds, hinting at much more hidden within.

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The Minneapolis-based band only recently released its first album “Give You the Ghost” and it has quickly garnishing rave reviews not only in Minnesota, but in the United States.

Dig it

There is a lot going on in what Polica delivers. Blended together in this recipe is a little funk, a little jazz, some experimentation and even a dash of trip-hop.

You appreciate the complexity and the way all of it is woven together in a cleanly woven groove. It’s easy to listen to, but may require the right mood.

When you do listen to it though, you appreciate the intricate pieces delivered with almost flawless ease.

Didn’t dig it

There is way too much voice alternation to what Channy sings. During her live shows, she uses pedals to manipulate her voice, which serves up an auto-tuned vibe that really bothers me.

I can’t tell you how much I hate auto-tune. It always feels cheap, but to Polica’s credit they manage to string the elements along into something different than the usual overuse of auto-tune by R&B singers and rappers who use it only because it’s become a popular element to include.

Still, I would love to hear Leaneagh sing without making adjustments or changes to her voice.

 Stand-out song

“Wandering Star,” is a wonderful walk through a simple beat carried at a leisurely pace that just feels right.

It’s an easy backdrop to most everything you’re doing and endears itself as a charming beat to a mystifying experience.

Final verdict

Like I mentioned at the start, I can appreciate Polica for what it does, even if I don’t agree with the entirety of what they are producing.

It’s an interesting act with more than enough presented to make you sit up and take notice. The heavy electronic heartbeat that lies at the center of Polica gets overdone at times, but there is enough here to take your mind away from that aspect at least a little bit.

The one thing I will say in parting is, Polica, whether it’s your kind of music, is at least worth a listen, even if it doesn’t make it into your regular list of songs and bands.