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Reviews
Polly Scattergood - S/T
Wednesday, July 01 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: ZG

Self-Titled

Artist: Polly Scattergood United Kingdom

Title: Self-Titled

Label: Mute Records United Kingdom

Genre: Alternative Pop/ Indie Rock

Track Listing:

01 I Hate The Way
02 Other Too Endless
03 Untitled 27
04 Please Don’t Touch
05 I Am Strong
06 Unforgiving Arms
07 Poem Song
08 Bunny Club
09 Nitrogen Punk
10 Breathe In Breathe Out



Polly Scattergood is someone new to the scene. Nevertheless her debute album is a strong step into the music industry, claiming its place. This self titled piece is her debut album after releasing numerous singles. “Polly Scattergood” was issued by Mute Records Ltd., a label active since 1978, which released music in different genres with a focus on electronic music and experimental pop in particular.
   
Polly Scattergood is a golden middle between many different emotions and ideas. As for the sound, I would compare it with Dresden Dolls, knowing their playful manner and emotional expression, or Pretty Balanced, being somewhere between theatrical cabaret style and lyrical songs accompanied by piano and sometimes Bjork. Polly Scatergood is at the same time a burst of emotions and indifference itself. Her music and lyrics are at the same time filled with a play, they may be personal (as the info sheet says) and at the same time allegorical, sometimes filled with tragic content and humour, even if black. Polly put in the lyrics the memories from her past and probably things that she managed to experience. From time to time the music tends to turning to mainstream side, but a really great thing about the album is that both the music and the lyrics are created by one person, Polly herself, and this way they get this integrity and sincerity many artists within this mainstream side lack. And yes, she sounds sincere, she makes a listener believe that all the things being sung are real, with her close to childish, gentle and sometimes fragile, as it is going to stop suddenly or turn into crying, voice: both innocent and seducing, singing about disturbing things and suicide. The remarkable thing about the album is all-time alterating mood. Irritated monologue in I Hate The Way is changed by rather lyrical, but light Other Too Endless. She may nearly cry in one track , as in heartfelt Untitled 27, which ends with “Good night, my love” and stopped hearbeat (does it mean that love itself is dead?), then flirt and play a fool in Please Don’t Touch and then again calm down and create a warm and cozy atmosphere with hopeful I Am Strong track. Each track sounds like a little play of one actor – Polly Scattergood turns in different ways and shows diverse personalities, it happens so that from time to time all the tracks seem to be the lives of different people told by these people, being actually united in one person.
   
The tracks to be marked out are the first one, I Hate the Way, the most dark track on the album, I guess, starting softly with nearly a whisper through tears and evolving into a strong and powerful guitar supported track; Please Don’t Touch, an expressive playful track. Although many people mark out I am Strong track, I would not say it impressed me that much. Probably it seemed to me weaker than I expected it to be. On the other hand, I really loved the culmination of Other Too Endless, it is very logical and rewards the expectation of a listener, and very poetic and emotional Poem Song, featuring strings.
   
Although Polly says that her songs are not autobiographical, they are certainly very personal. And it is not a surprise that the album is self titled: this album is an attempt to show and a possibility to discover a character and potential of the songwriter. I hope that Polly Scattergood won’t lose her ability to be different, an important quality this self titled album has revealed.

     



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