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Album Review: Poliça - 'Madness'

Updated: May 3, 2023

Poliça first came into my life with the album When We Stay Alive, released on January 31, 2020. Although I want to say I did a review for AltRevue, I’m pretty sure I did not. If not, I know that I wrote a Facebook post about it. However, I have mentioned When We Stay Alive throughout the last couple of years. In fact, it was one of my top three albums of 2020. So, coming into this new album knowing how much I loved the last one and knowing that I will see the band live in the next couple of weeks, I tried not to worry. Sigh and a breath of relief when I listened to it.

I have admitted that I am not a musician; I am a writer and a music fan. Therefore, the lingo and recognizable music discussion does not appear in my paragraphs. Instead, my reviews are about the experience of listening to the album. Sometimes it is fictional and sometimes too real, and this review might be too real.

Because I work early Friday mornings during the summer, it is Saturday. Lizzie and I went to get a latte and a puppucino. The plan was to get caffeinated and hit some yard sales with my wife. However, she had a very long work week and is sleeping in, so I am in the office, writing about my experience.

On the way to get coffee, I played Madness. (Finally getting back to it, right?) Although we were early into the album, I remember thinking, I can play this loud. I am saying that because drawing attention to myself and what I like is not what I do. I’m shy and terrified of people judging me. Especially listening to music loudly in my car. However, if someone heard it, I decided that I’d say, “It’s Poliça’s new album,” feeling cool like I’m in the moment. Pulling up to the drive-through, I debated turning the music down (which I did a tiny amount), but I thought, fuck it. They need to know. Of course, a young person looked like they were highly caffeinated because they did not want to be awake, and she did not say anything about my music.

As the coffee kicks in and does its job, I realize that the album is what I was hoping for. It’s a mixture of ethereal, pop, amazing vocals, and musical talent. Professional is a word I like to use when writing reviews because I believe there is a difference between being capable and professional. Lots of musicians can write music that is catchy and enjoyable or makes a statement that captures an audience. However, stepping up and taking your craft to a new level is professionalism. Madness is another example of why I keep listening to music. Now, let me give it a couple more rotations and see if it can catch up to Spoon’s Lucifer on the Sofa and Methyl Ethyl’s Are You Haunted?

Final Thought: Another ego-driven review with little discussion of the album, so . . . “Alive” gets us started. Like I use the word professional, albums capable of capturing the mood and my attention in the first song are something I look for. For some reason, the music in “Violence” makes me think of Tears for Fears. Channy Leanegh’s voice is hypnotizing throughout the album, especially in “Madness.” Oh, and the bass! Poliça ends the album as perfectly as they begin it.

Favorite Songs: “Alive,” “Blood,” and “Sweet Memz.”

Rating - 5 out of 5 (Yes, I believe they brought their ‘A-Game’)

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