Canada-based noise-popper Meg Remy – AKA U.S. Girls – is set to release her 6th studio album on 4AD, her second for the London-based label, in February 2018, and in true Remy fashion, it's packed with personality. Exploring spiritualism, religion, violence and power, she weaves together evocative samples, slow-burning funk and emotionally charged synths into a railing political vision, even using disco as a rallying cry for pacifism (Mad As Hell).
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A decade into her archeological digs into pop music as U.S. Girls, Meg Remy releases what could be considered the project’s best record -- along with its most seismic step up. ‘In A Poem Unlimited’ wants to not only present its study of pop music but encompass its history, offering ensured songs with moments that feel like they’re iconic in some other parallel earth. It’s on “Rage of Plastics”, one of the slickest tunes in Remy’s career yet, that she fully feels like she’s cracked it: a skronky sax riff into a jittering doo-wop rhythm and a rocking call-and-response melody, all compacted into a song that feels familiar but plays anew.
Unfortunately I just want to listen to that song forever, but there are ten other songs on this record and I do believe I have to reference some of them. Well, there’s the mumbly “Rosebud”, which lets air into Remy’s sound like never before, its light keys and quietly buzzing beat contributing to some of her quietest, most lounge-appropriate work yet. “L-Over” is a funk tune wafting itself from summer heat (can’t relate), its warped bassline marrying a distant and baroque string arrangement in the kind of odd-socked combination Remy masters. “Poem” ripples with the implication of synthline before making it the only sound worth hearing in the world, echoing the well calibrated dramas of certain Robyn hits.
I’ve rarely wanted to go back to U.S. Girls records like I have this one: in its nine pop jams (two are super-short idents), she’s made her most enjoyable and genuinely shape-shifting record. She tops it off with a forward-motion stomp of psychedelia, recurring the rhythm of “Time” for as long as she can possibly extend her ear-crinkling guitar solo. This one wins.
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