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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Survival Instinct
There's something enormously powerful here: this woman's voice, the spare arrangements, the apparently simple yet complex songs. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm smitten. She's capable of an emotional depth I've heard nowhere else, from any artist, from any other music. She did it with 'Real Life' and she does it again here on 'To Survive'. And I was ready to be...
Published on 14 July 2008 by A. Stark

versus
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Might Survive or I Might Fall Asleep
Upon hearing Joan's debut album "Real Life" I, instantly, feel in love with her voice, lyrics and music; the songs are sweetly haunting, her voice, at times, almost ethereal and even when I play it today it still sounds so fresh, I love it and know every word to every song.
When I heard of her new release I became very excited; couldn't wait hear her new songs, and...
Published on 9 Dec 2008 by PMunkus


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Survival Instinct, 14 July 2008
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
There's something enormously powerful here: this woman's voice, the spare arrangements, the apparently simple yet complex songs. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm smitten. She's capable of an emotional depth I've heard nowhere else, from any artist, from any other music. She did it with 'Real Life' and she does it again here on 'To Survive'. And I was ready to be disappointed when I bought this album. It overwhelms me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TO SURVIVE IS AN ESSENTIAL 2ND ALBUM., 30 Mar 2008
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
Second album from New York's Joan Wasser and Co. sees her in supreme voice and the band on form. Another set of deeply rewarding songs this time with wilder, darker arrangements complimenting the lighter more soulful joyous moments.. a sprinkling of jazz,rock and avant -pop.. hard to compare her music to anyone else really.. just more joan as police woman than even Real Life was.. a uniquely talent lady at the top of her game !!! Guests include Rufus Wainwright and David Sylvian. PRE ORDER NOW.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Law Unto Herself, 11 Jun 2008
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
Elusive. Slippery. Beguilingly and Bewitchingly Beautiful.

The ten songs which comprise Ms Wasser's new album will not
give themselves up easily to listeners looking for a quick
melting-moment fix.

There has been remarkable development since 2006's 'Real Life'
(an absolute stunner too if you haven't heard it yet !)

This is uncompromising writing and performance from a woman
not afraid to move against the mainstream.

The fluid, almost jazzy structure, of these compositions
reeks somehow of a stifling New York City Night.
Compressed and achingly searching for intangible resolutions.

'Honor Wishes' is a brave and austere opening track.
Voice. Piano. Bass. Drums.
Ms Wasser's voice roaming yearningly through and around
the icy keyboard's chordal progressions.

'Holiday' brings us into warmer, more, exotic territory altogether.
The lilting rhythm and melody lulling us into a false sense
of security as we are drawn into the tangled, splintered cacophony
of it's remarkable closing bars.

'To Be Loved' an optimistic and upbeat, yet wistful, reflection
on the possibility of love.

'To Be Lonely', the bruised and bleeding heart of the album.
Raw. Exposed. The intimacy of this shared moment almost unbareable.

'Magpies' delivers one of the most musically satisfying and complex
brass and vocal arrangements imaginable. Another real highpoint.

'Start Of My Heart'. A slow and gorgeously evocative melody and
more words about love to stretch your heartstrings.

'Hard White Wall' is a ducking and diving accoustic guitar led
number filled with complex waves and layers of electric guitar,
synthesiser, drums and vocal harmonies. Stunning.

'Furious' chugs along nicely with the Wurlitzer holding down
a quasi-latin rhythm. Ms Wasser beligerent in the best possible way.

'To Survive' is another pared-down gem of a song.
A lullaby and lament of breathtaking beauty.
The string arrangement a masterclass of affecting economy.

Closing track 'To America' is an ambiguous and ambivalent ending.
The classy brass and woodwind arrangement and not insignificant
contribution from a junior, masculine Wainwright brings the album
to a rapturous close.

Mr Goggin's production and supporting musicianship is inspired thoughout.

A Magificent Achievement.

Highly Recommended.

(I'm tempted to say "Move over Martha" but of course we must keep
room in our hearts for them both.)
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking.....of course., 10 Jun 2008
By 
S. Dinsdale (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
The expression `eagerly awaited' may well have been written for this album as far as I'm concerned. For those of us addicted to JAPW debut album `Real Life' for many months in 2006/7 this couldn't come soon enough. In many ways it feels like a continuation of that album, but in a good way. The production values are similar but Joan has been bolder and introduced some interesting new instrumental textures and layered backing vocals to frame that gorgeous voice with. A voice recorded so intimately it almost whispers in your ear.

At the classic length of ten songs/45 minutes it's another album to listen to from start to finish. It covers a variety of moods and themes, the two central ones being her new love and the passing of her mother. It's predominantly bittersweet and with all the beauty that entails.

JAPW's albums start to really shine after about ten or twenty plays, once the amazing harmonic twists and turns in her songs have had time to assimilate. There's a rewarding compositional depth here that's so very rare, and is treasured by this listener.

Early stand out tracks are the single `To Be Loved' (which seems to capture the entire history of soul music at one delerious point in it's unfolding) `Start Of My Heart' (once a bare piano ballad now a beautiful flower complete with almost Frippian guitar washes, and perhaps the best vocal on the album) and the title track `To Survive' (with strings and breathtaking chord changes that'll make you weep).

The icing on an already delicious cake is a fine duet with the mighty Rufus Wainwright on the album's lead-out track `To America'. That's my summer listening sorted then.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen, Listen, Listen and Listen Again, 11 Jun 2008
By 
J. Parker (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
This is an incredible piece of work which has already burned itself into my soul only three days after its release. Not all of the tracks are immediate and it is not generally as accessable as the also excellent 'Real Life'.

That does not in anyway diminish its worth though - it just means that you may need to give it multiple listens before you fully appreciate its brilliance.

Get it now, your need this music in your life.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 3 Oct 2008
By 
Craig Alexander (Rutland, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
For once an Amazon recommendation (based on my Blue Nile purchases so quite a tenuous connection) that was correct. I agree with other reviewer's comments about it not being immediate, but I had a sense from the first listen through that this was going to be a 'grower' - to me always a sign of quality.
The music's subtle simplicity hides a wonderful complexity you only get with subsequent - and if you can - quite detailed listening. I was lucky to get this just before a trip to Japan so immersed myself in it on both out and inbound flights. A pure joy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 29 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
Beautifully crafted and heartfelt songs - would be hard put to select any one of Joan as Policewoman's albums as they are all good. Definitely worth seeing/hearing live too!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Survival Instinct, 19 July 2008
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
There's something enormously powerful here: this woman's voice, the spare arrangements, the apparently simple yet complex songs. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm smitten. She's capable of an emotional depth I've heard nowhere else, from any artist, from any other music. She did it with 'Real Life' and she does it again here on 'To Survive'. And I was ready to be disappointed when I bought this album. It overwhelms me.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Joan Wasser. You so belong., 6 July 2008
By 
Jdavidson "JonnyMacReady" (Workington, Cumbria, England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
Words cannot express how much of a rare thing of beauty this album is, but I simply have to write SOMETHING. As a musician alone, this artist is impressive, playing with class many of the instruments on here. As a songwriter she is staggering: such command of effortlessly engaging lyrics, melody and mood. And the arrangement is skilful and seamless; each component compliments the others. The balance is spot-on throughout. Add to this a voice so exquisite, so rich, expressive, moving and delightful, and you a work of a quality many times greater than the sum of its already outstanding parts.
The range, depth and subtlety in these songs makes them all the more powerful; they demand attention, but there is no clamouring for it here. You listen because you've no choice - you're rapt. This sharing of a gift is priceless.
I got this album three weeks ago and I've fell deeply in love with it, the songs drifting in and out like welcome friends. Successive plays reveal more and more layers, further enhancing the appreciation and pleasure. All other music has faded somewhat.
This is an accomplished, highly talented artist at her peak. It is clear she is maturing, learning something about the futility of control and resistance, and the wisdom of surrendering to fear and pain. Though, like us all, she's on the journey. Her vulnerability is exposed, as is her aching, longing sadness (I've cried my eyes out several times to the title track alone; such is the sheer power of the self-doubt and despair conveyed here - this, despite what she's learnt). The spectrum of feelings realized is spellbinding. At the other end: a contagious glee, the joy of love, of life, and of finding someone special to share it all with. You cannot help but warm to this.
To Survive is the most magical, wondrous thing I've heard in a long time - a new friend :)
This review may appear gushing (then disregard the superlatives), but please, listen to this music.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars topclass cd !!, 27 Feb 2010
By 
Olive "bluebrest" (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To Survive (Audio CD)
Beautiful cd. top quality. top service (and cheap:-) ).
digi pack was slightly damaged.
Amazingly fast delivery. It took two days to be delivered at my home addres in Holland!
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