Posted in Album of the Month

U.S. Girls – ‘In a Poem Unlimited’

The only thing that I do not like about this album is it’s title. Please don’t let this put you off. So, who or what is U.S. Girls. ? Meg Remy is an American living in Canadia-land, hence the joke-come-band name U.S. Girls. She is to U.S. Girls what James Murphy is to LCD Soundsystem. The beating heart. The reason for it’s existence. Basically, an artist with a backing band. I’ve been ‘aware’ of her for some time and new I was supposed to like what she did. I nearly chose the 2015 album Half Free as AOTM but didn’t feel that I’d loved it enough to justify the choice. Each time I listened to it I really like it but I was not drawn to it enough to recommend. Apparently Half Free was a watershed recording for Meg in that she allowed others to have some input. ‘In a Poem Unlimited’ she has worked much more deeply with others. The result is amazing. It’s opened up what she has always done and injected more influences, excitement and fun into the output.

This is an album of unashamed pop music. With teeth. And power. And politics. And a very 2018 ‘vibe’ to much of the lyrical content. But pop music is the first thing you’ll hear. The most negative review I could find criticised the album because the music was so good that you didn’t notice the importance of the lyrics. That seems to be the worst thing that the critics could find.

There are so many hooks for you to hang on to and drag you into a second listen. There’s no point in me listing my favourite tracks as they all qualify and my favourites rotate depending on mood and context. So who does she sound like? At times she channels PJ Harvey, St. Vincent,  Gwen Stefani and even Kylie Minogue and I know I’ve missed a load of references that I’ve heard on my many listens.

I am intrigued to know how you guys feel about this album. I usually love the singularity of output from a solo artist but this album feels like proof that often injecting others influence results in a well rounded and undeniable triumph. Enjoy.

6 thoughts on “U.S. Girls – ‘In a Poem Unlimited’

  1. Let me kick things off by saying that this album is fantastic. For me it was Rosebud that first clicked and then the rest soon followed.

    I agree with brother Joey, this album is full of great hooks and is well produced. On that note it took me a fair few listens to even delve into the lyrics which pack a punch as well.

    It’s tough to pinpoint why this clicks for me. Perhaps the fore mentioned recognition of other female artists that walk that fine line of pop music helps.

    I’d like to also make an honourable mention to 4AD records as once again they have hit it out of the park with this release. The world needs more music like this. Thanks for getting me involved brother Joey!

  2. I am in love with this album. Like, in a relationship with it. It’s extraordinarily good. I love that it’s on 4AD, it’s the perfect fit for them.
    So it sounds like, having delved into her past work, it was a lot more lo-fi and obtuse – and she’s finally embraced a more widescreen pop sheen. I certainly didn’t connect with what I’d heard from her earlier stuff as I do with this.

    What I love so much about this album is how successfully she’s married so many dispirate influences into something so cohesive – and with such vision. Feels like I’m listening to a proper artist who has total control of what she’s doing. It’s not surprising that I can hear both Kate Bush and David Bowie in this. The latter in particular – the Low/Heroes era synths, and that off-kilter attack at pop music.

    But can we also talk about the disco element of the album? There’s something really interesting about a female artist using a kind of ‘unserious’ genre to make something with so much worth. M.A.H. could almost be a late 70s Kelly Marie song, until you delve into it a bit. So much grit in the ointment, and so much better for it.

    I’ve probably listened to this about 20 times in the past week. This and Rejjie Snow are on permanent repeat at the moment. Currently, this is probably my album of the year. Thanks for introducing us, Brother J!

  3. Hey guys. I am very happy to see that you’re having such positive experiences with what I think will be my Album of the Year. It feels so good to choose an album that is new and makes such an impact on you guys. I’ll write more when I have more time but keep listening, it just gets better.

  4. Yep, its really worth reading a few reviews / interviews as some of the subject matter would be unknown otherwise.

    Loving the love-in.

    Guy …. where are you brother?

  5. Evening brothers. Sorry, I’ve been busy at work / looking after my daughter / on parental leave. I’m pulling out all the excuses, basically. As a result, I’ve not listened to much new music in the last few weeks because I’ve also seen Friendly Fires and Arcade Fire gigs, so been trawling their back catalogues.

    This album did have a pretty sterling effect on me for the first few listens I’ve managed though, for the above reasons that everyone else has given. It gels immediately, and there’s some fantastic hooks and lyrics in there, and I’d agree they mine PJ, St Vincent, Debbie Harry and others, but it’s homage and nods, not pastiche. It’s quite a first impression.

    I do need to give it more listens, but this is a great ‘where have this band been’ moment. Bravo.

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