POLIÇA - When We Stay Alive
When We Stay Alive
POLIÇA is a name you've heard before if you've read this blog, but not for their own albums. Lane 8 is a frequent collaborator of theirs, featuring on some of his best tracks to date. Channy Leaneagh's haunting voice always adds a dimension of unease and wildness to his music, taking what can be repetitive house and giving it another dynamic. That's why when I saw they had a new album of their own I was excited to dive right in. Little did I know that this new record When we Stay Alive is one of their most emotionally charged to date. In 2018 Leaneagh was cleaning ice of her car when she slipped, cracking a vertebrae, damaging her spine and rendering her unable to walk. This lead to long periods of introspection, relying on people to help her accomplish even the most simple of tasks. Raising her children became hard, and all of those physical and emotional struggles made their way on to this record. This leads to some truly cutting lyrics that get straight to the heart of it. Where the album fails however is the music behind her. For the most part, it's generic electropop and it's hard to even elaborate further. "Little Threads" features this incredible vocal, with lyrics full of past traumas and the music is just one beat over and over. All the pieces are there for a stellar sounding track, but the music just feels so uninspired that it let's her vocal down every time.
"Be Again" is an example where the aspirations are sky high, but the actual execution of the track falls flat. It intends to be this slow burn epic with Leaneagh's vocals distant and affected until they come punching through at the end. That promise is just never lived up to and what we are left with is a bit of a dud. There is no soaring Lane 8 beats for her to sing over on this album and it sticks out in a major way. You keep waiting for something to click in, for a moment to set the album soaring sky high, but it absolutely never comes. 'Steady" is one of the biggest offenders in this sense, but it's glaring all over the album. It's too bad, this could have been something special, and probably should be.
5.0 out of 10