Caroline Polachek : Desire, I Want To Turn Into You Review
Caroline Polachek is back with her sophomore release called Desire, I Want To Turn Into You. Polachek continues her journey of bending the norms of pop music to her whims, making something out of nothing, and summoning nuance from disorganization. Polachek wrote nine of the twelve songs for the album in London with her close collaborator Danny L Harle. The album is themed with her vision of love and desire, and she explores the obtuse with the sublime.
Polachek’s warm and expressive voice opens the album with “Welcome To My Island,” which displays impressive vocal range and tone. The cybernetic and repetitive lyrics and melody are juxtaposed by flowing background vocals with an island influence. The synth sounds are supportive, and the drums are never overpowering. The bridge brings a spoken part that builds to the release, and Polachek plays a short guitar part. Polachek creates a pop song that loosely follows the norm but has enough fringe to make you care and pay attention.
“I Believe” is an atmospheric romp through samples, repetitive synth figures, and a wide range of twists and turns. The song borders on the disjunct, with many instruments and sounds that seem to come from nowhere, but all the parts combine to create something coherent in the end. The increased drum activity and Polachek’s ethereal vocalizations leading to the breakdown are lovely. Though effects and auto-tune are used lightly, the sound of Polachek’s sensual tone is never destroyed.
Desire, I Want To Turn Into You is an album that distinguishes between being fresh while still being an undeniable pop album. Polachek has a magnificent voice, and her songwriting and delivery have just enough strangeness and inchoateness that you have to pay close attention to the details. But, when you take the extra time to listen closely, that is when Desire, I Want To Turn Into You delivers the payoff.
Caroline Polachek: Website
February 14, 2023