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4.6 out of 5 stars
Give You The Ghost
Format: MP3 Download|Change

on 4 August 2012
Eclectic ethereal music that is deeply moving. Penetrating vocals despite the overlay of distortion. Here's to the beginning of a new creative strain in contemporary music and an end to bands that sound like other bands from the end of the twentieth century. Beautiful female vocals make this great album.
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on 2 November 2012
Rare review from me...but this is brilliant. Best new music heard in a long long time. Songs that get under your skin, original and accessible. Two Drummers a bass player and vocals with added dashes of synth. Just pips the Alt-j album for record of 2012. Recommended to lovers of music now with an open mind and fed up with the usual re hashing of whats gone before...but is so approachable too. Wonderful.
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on 30 April 2012
Contemporary and noteworthy R&B comes in roughly three forms. First there is the inventive, sample-happy smoothness of budget producers-cum-miracle-workers like The Weeknd who offer a genuinely refreshing take on the brain-dead pap that schmoozes its way out of most radios daily. Next there is the windblown wanting of bedroom-bound wunderkinds like Guerre, Top Girls and, of course, How To Dress Well who all seem to have found the misplaced soul of the much-maligned genre.

Finally, now comprising Poliça, we have the fluid Minneapolis member-base that is rewriting the rule book on the use of auto-tune and soft-focus instrumentation. Their debut LP Give You The Ghost seems to initially trace its roots back to Bon Iver`s breakout a capella "Woods" and then through the pioneering work of the 25-strong soft rockin' outfit Gayngs that culminated with the release of their impressive 2010 album Relayted (on which Justin Vernon himself turned in a Bone Thugs-n-Harmony double-take). Backbone of the Gayngs collective, Ryan Olson understandably liked their direction and enlisted fellow subscriber Mike Noyce (equally of the Bon Iver band), as well as bit-part Gayngs vocalist Channy Leanagh (then Moon-Caselle) for the Twin City shakers' next step - upping all their gayme if you will as Poliça.

Using heavily auto-tuned manipulation and echo-looping of Leanagh's eerie voice, Give You The Ghost thus quite quickly becomes a showcase for the striking use of the tool as an effect rather than a form of compensation. More pleasing still is that the album's deluxe bedding for this weapon is equally becoming - cue a rich palette of ticking, chattering instrumentation under which the band's two drummers (Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson) exercise their skins eagerly.

Maximising the potential of their dual drumming options and finding a truly original niche as it goes is the no-holds-barred blowout of the stunning and urgent "Violent Games" on which an ever-intensifying Leanagh gets multi-tracked to death amid frayed synth FX. The smooth and equally impressive "Dark Star" later comes replete with an irresistible beat behind that mesmeric vocal - its funky sax in turn carrying an infectious vibe into the sultry slow-jam "Fist, Teeth, Money".

It may be a touch optimistic to tar the fizzy opener "Amongster" as pop, but this drifting slice of echoing auto-tune and high-tempo percussion nevertheless plays in the same neighbourhood until a muscular, post-something finale resolutely does away with the classification. The similarly attractive follow-on "I See My Mother" then successfully differentiates itself from the crowd with an array of appealing R&B arrangements.

Though perhaps less revelatory, and assisted almost immeasurably by svelte tracks like the droning daydream "Wandering Star", the remainder of Give You The Ghost manages to tick over no less enjoyably - proof, perhaps, that despite an expansive contributor list, there's a single-minded vision at work here that not only takes the breath away, but as the wonder is absorbed simply causes you to stand back and applaud.

Advised downloads: "Violent Games" and "Dark Star".
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VINE VOICEon 10 February 2014
I caught Polica on a Later with Jools Holland and was intrigued by their unusual use of autotune.

The singer really can sing, but they use autotune to present her voice in a radically different way.

The antithesis of the sterile and bland way Daft Punk use electronica, Polica's is an ephemeral, gritty kind of sound that's likely to make a real impact on you (although if you like lyrics you might find the level of distortion too much).

They manage to present the style well live too.
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on 11 March 2013
Decided to buy this based on other Amazon reviews (from people who had purchased similar CDs to myself). This CD is very different to a lot of the similar genres and has a full, detailed and rich sound. There are many subtleties and it makes for great listening. The only downside is the repetitiveness of the sampled singing; it's great at first but begins to grate by the end.

Certainly a few stand-out tracks that would be good on your iPod in Shuffle mode!
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on 30 March 2013
The title of my review says it all. I bought this after being impressed with their appearance on Jools Holland, but the massive overkill on the autotune strips the soul out of this album. I know it was deliberate, to comply with the style of the music, but it didn't work for me.

However the glorious Dark Star almost single-handedly redeems this album, a wonderful record, which shows a template for what the rest should/could have been
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on 25 October 2013
This is a slow burner. It took me a year to get this band. Don't expect to like it straight away. I found that I would do something else in the house while this played, then stop and listen with a need to listen to the CD again.
I do find that bands that take a while to grow on you tend to stay with you longer. These are one of those bands.
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on 18 August 2012
I bought this from a competitor, exchanging something else that hadn't hit the spot*. Poliça's album was playing over the speakers and after ten or fifteen minutes fruitless browsing they had made a sufficiently strong impression that I asked what was what and how much and yes please I'll take one.

Since then I've been back and forth with this one. Is it bang-on! or small beer? Of course you already know the answer...

Anyone who's familiar with trip-rock, or the Bristol scene of so many years back, will probably feel this and not be much surprised by anything in it - save maybe the auto-tuned voice and insistent percussion - so that great shouts about the originality of the record will rebound away. When I was told it was some band called Poliça I imagined they were european, maybe Irish. (The name is a Polish word, says Wiki.) When I found out they were Americans it was strangely disappointing. Watching them online didn't help much either; not exactly shoegazing but definitely in a bubble. You might wonder whether such music even wants an audience.

Suits our era very well: sharing without actual communion.

Anyway, whatever gripes or doubts, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next chapter. The great thing about pop music, past and present, is that it feels like there's a band for every one of us, uniquely special, regardless of whether they sound reminiscent of another group or clutch of groups who maybe had stronger vocals here, richer musical arrangement there, unforgettable lyrics or melodies. This is Poliça's moment, so after you've inevitably sampled everything for free online, decide whether you want to be supportive and buy the album.

*In case you doubt this, there's a grammatical error printed in the lyrics to Wandering Star. The CD comes in a cardboard sleeve.
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on 28 March 2013
This album was a surprise to me as I had not come across it or the group until I heard the first track played at the end of one episode of the TV series 'Person of Interest'. I downloaded the album soon after and like all the tracks.
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on 1 June 2012
Heard Lay Your Cards Out on 6 music and had to download the album. Wierdly processed vocals, dark and massive drums, melodic and expressive bass make this band distinctive and unique. Tremendous album - good all the way through.

Stand out tracks for me are Violent Games, Dark Star and Lay your cards out.
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