Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Anna Polanski-Pop Radio (2006)


My friends over at the "Dance Love Pop" blog—wherever they might be—should feast their eyes on this latest fulfillment from their pop music wishlist. That would be "Pop Radio", the first and only album by the Latvian pop singer Anna Polanski. And with this gift offering tonight comes my latest adventure of crossing cultural horizons with my music-listening, as this may be the very first time in my life that I've listened to any singer of Latvian nationality. Not having heard anything by this Anna Polanski until my ears tuned in to the opener, "It's Cool", I was taken a bit by surprise with the contemporary, alternative rock/pop sound. Think it has a lot to do with the fact that a lot of the music requested and featured by the "Dance Love Pop" guru was exactly that—pop music that you would love dancing to. And partially, of course, me being one to love dance-pop music altogether. Yet the music chameleon in me that listens to and enjoys every type of music on this planet still found satisfaction in switching the radio dials to Anna's "Pop Radio" station. Once I had the opener "It's Cool" under my belt, I immediately found my first song that I'd get hooked to: "In My Head". 'She sounds a lot like Alanis Morissette here'—that was my initial impression going into this song, particularly noting the similar confessional vocal style and even how the way the song moves along shares a similar arrangement to Alanis Morisstte's "Head Over Feet", even if the tonalities of the melodies of the two songs don't match up. Yeah, this song stayed in my head for a good while, alright! The alternative side of Anna, however, really shows its face on the more charged-up "Dreams" and "All I Do", then later again with the cute bubblegum love song I like called "Blush", where the Latvian singer proclaims that the guy whom she loves makes her do that and shiver and every other kind of bodily reaction that love causes. My absolute favorite moments with Anna, though, were spent on the more easy-listening selections when the more laid back side of her comes out. Witnessed it first back on the gem called "Unbroken" (a funny coincidence I should call it a 'gem', as the folk, down-to-earth kinda style of the song reminds me of something I'd hear by the singer/songwriter/guitarist Jewel), then three additional times with the concluding trio to this album: "Why Did You Stop Loving Me?" (some of the best songwriting here embedded within all of the questions posed throughout the song; I just love the mellow, slow-moving flow of the song altogether), the title track (very short—almost too short—but sweet) and "Great Friend", which is a three-way collaboration with a couple of other artists named Jenny May and Ladybird that I read had achieved a lot of honorable mention:

1. It's Cool
2. In My Head
3. Dreams
4. All I Do
5. Unbroken
6. A Woman's Work Is Never Done
7. I Could Care About You
8. Push
9. Blush
10. Why Did You Stop Loving Me?
11. Pop Radio
12. Great Friend

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