Pollyanna – On Concrete

Pollyanna - On Concrete

Pollyanna - On Concrete

With fine production and instrumentation, Parisian folk duo Pollyanna deftly crochet beguiling music, their labors producing wraps and fittings that dress up their quaint folk songs. Those songs need dressing because what lies underneath, at the heart of their music,  is threadbare. While On Concrete looks good from certain angles, the album left me cold.

For example, track three, “A Landscape”, never connects emotionally, despite the nice arrangements. Part of the problem is the vocal. Some lines sound like bad translations, such as: “You’re like the devil, always riding on my mind”. Likewise, interesting percussion and an additional electric guitar can’t save “In the Cornfields”, a song whose rough, simple little riff is picked without conviction, without a feel for the performance.

But On Concrete earns big points for “Tristan”. Despite the odd lyrics, this song works, largely due to a very effective change at 1:45. Here, the mood is heightened and, within moments, the music moves from milquetoast to engaging. This song and “Railroad Boy”, with its strong vocal and knack for mining drama out of a few simple chord changes, are the album’s best.

Otherwise, On Concrete inspires yawns: A crisp sounding bore, disconnected and predisposed.

Pollyanna’s Web site