Joan as Police Woman – Joanthology review: Underrated brilliance

Fri, May 17, 2019, 05:00

   
 

Album:
Joanthology

Artist:
Joan as Police Woman

Label:
Play It Again Sam

Genre:
Singer / Songwriter

With seven albums now under her belt, Joan Wasser is long overdue a retrospective collection. The American musician may not have a No 1 hit in her back catalogue, but this anthology perfectly illustrates how underrated she is as a songwriter.

Wasser can move between styles with a poise that not many of her peers have mastered. Each era of her career, from 2006’s Real Life (The Ride is as sophisticated a pop-rock song as you’ll ever hear) to the shimmering, jazzy experimentation of 2011’s The Deep Field (The Magic being a highlight) reveals a musician determined not to repeat herself.

There are duets with the artist formerly known as Antony Hegarty (I Defy) and Rufus Wainwright (To America) and a woozily thrilling cover of Talk Talk’s Myrrhman, while the cuts from 2014’s The Classic swerve into Motown and soul with joyful abandon.

A seductive cover of Prince’s Kiss and previously unrecorded track What a World round out a collection that also includes a Live at the BBC set.

The next 15 years could be very interesting, indeed.