U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

A record that is groovy and gorgeous in equal measures.

U.S. Girls - In a Poem Unlimited

A record that is groovy and gorgeous in equal measures.

Label: 4AD
Released: 16th February 2018
Rating: ★★★★

On ‘In A Poem Unlimited’, the sixth studio album by Meg Remy aka U.S. Girls, lavish, luscious textures are weaved together to make for a record that is groovy and gorgeous in equal measures. A skewed pop record that proposes multiple images of empowered women coming to terms with the force they possess, Remy’s sharp quips meet angular space disco grooves and glorious arrangements that marry beats, horns and strings in pop euphoria. Truly one of this decade’s most underrated songwriters, on this record, Remy is the visionary pop star we don’t deserve, but are lucky enough to get anyway.

“Why do I lose my voice when I have something to say?” she sings over and over on an a capella interlude of the same name, her voice scratchy and coarse. But this is less a summary of the record, than a one-off moment on a great record. For not only is Meg Remy’s voice captivating for its entirety, but she is never lost for words. “He left me alone completely, for once I slept deeply,” she growls on the sprawling mutant disco number Incidental Boogie as inferno is ushered in slowly before grooves that would make Chic jealous and wilting guitar roars that would put Sabbath jealous fester together. And while the sultry cough syrup funk of the first few tracks is glorious, the record’s crown jewel is its closer, ‘Time’, another freaky disco track that spirals to its heady crescendo with a filthy free jazz sax solo straight from the streets of 80s New York.

A rallying record, where dreamy, textured pop music (‘Velvet 4 Sale’) meets sordid cabaret (‘Rage of Plastics’) and freaky funk ditties (‘Pearly Gates’). The message is powerful. For instance, Velvet 4 Sale vividly depicts a world where women take power from men, and M.A.H is a “clarion call for pacifism”. But what’s more powerful is the life-affirming music, a rich distillation guitars that scream for dear life, basslines that could get statues dancing and pop music in its purest form created by a true master of her craft. Cal Cashin

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