Joan of Arc – Boo Human

Joan of Arc – Boo Human / 2008 Polyvinyl / 14 Tracks / http://www.polyvinylrecords.com /

It has been a while since we heard anything from Polyvinyl Records. We gradually drifted apart after The Red Hot Valentines disintegrated, and while there were a few more albums we received, nothing seemed to really capture our attention as much as an RHV album did. The stunning vocals that are the focal point to the introductory track of “Boo Human” capture our attention. The guitars that are present on this track add a little in the way of harmony to the song, but it is the intricate harmonization of the vocals that make this into such an amazing introduction to the band. “Laughter Reflected Back” is the second track on the album, and it provides with another example of the vocals being the one thing that everyone should listen to.

While the stuttering approach to drums is interesting in its own right, this finicky and Thom Yorke-esque style of vocals (unique in their own right, surely) are the crown jewel to be found during “Boo Human”. “Everywhere I Go” adds a little bit more in the way of the instrumentation providing the harmony and overall sound on the track, but this is at a level that stands eye to eye with the vocals. The inclusion of organic and inorganic elements to this track provides an otherworldly sound that is pierced through by the sing-songy vocals. The act is rooted in a folksy, indie approach to alternative music, but do not let this fool you. What Joan of Arc does during their “Boo Human” is create a diverse album that does not try to ride the coattails of any act or individual that had preceded them. Rather, their bold experiment yields considerable results. The eclectic style of the band, varying as it does during “Boo Human”, is something that individuals should take notice of and really get behind.

In a time of cookie cutter pop stars and bland rock bands, the fact that spans of seconds could yield different Joan of Arcs should be enough of a reason to pick up “Boo Human”. Any of the tracks has the charisma and a compelluing nature to bring individuals in and refuse to let them go until the song ends. A song like “If There Was A Time #1” should be on everyone’s playlists and rotations for the summer 2008. The chorus will drill itself in listeners’ minds and never let go.

Top Tracks: If There Was A Time #1, 9/11 2

Rating: 8.3/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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