U.S. Girls aka Meghan Remy released her seventh studio album 'In a Poem Unlimited' this February and her second all together on the 4AD label. This album comes as a follow up to 'Half Free' from 2015 and its release was preceded with the lead single "M.A.H." which came out last year. The brand new album includes 11 new tracks and it was recorded in collaboration with Meg's husband Max Turnbull aka Slim Twig and his band The Cosmic Range.
U.S. Girls has always been good in experimenting with sound and influences, even before their time on 4AD, and this has not changed even with this release and their artpop seem to have even become more vivid this time. The beats on new album reflect 60's and 70's music styles influences, free jazz forms, boogie disco and funk which turn this venture into more organic and expressive music event. It is very dynamic with some pop delights here and there, the lead single "M.A.H.", downtempo "Rosebud" and more electronically structured "Pearly Gates" and "Poem". Vocally Meg's voice register seems to adjust to the music easily from soft whispering Kylish flavour to full soaring ranges. In terms of content, there is angry political commentary to the songs where it stands up against public lies by political and religious leaders as well as studies about gender power imbalances.
Now when we compare it with the previous album, there is the impression that the 'Half Free' even more raw in production, was somehow a rounded up concept, sample based and obscure, that gave the impression of a more intimate affair with the artist. With "In a Poem Unlimited" it seems that the elements that bring the music together and the instrumentation on some tracks seems to be overexposed and a bit out of place. And track wise we are missing a tune that could reach the quality heights of the brilliant "Woman's Work" from the 'Half Free'.
Overall U.S. Girls has expended their territory musically well and some songs have really nice production quality and the protest tone resonates well with the grooves, but as global product it comes too much as polished light Pop for what we would rather have preferred another experiment with loops and samples and therefore a slight downgrade to 'Half Free'.
Release Date: February 16th