When Will Butler isn’t busy going ballistic playing all kinds of synthesizers, percussion and other what-nots with Arcade Fire, he’s writing his own music. His debut solo-album, “Policy” was released on March 10.
It is short, sweet, and to the point, clocking in at roughly 27 minutes long. Despite its brevity, there is truly something for everyone on this record.
The first of eight tracks, “Take My Side,” sounds like pure, unadulterated American rock and roll, but by no means does it set the tone for the rest of the album. The next song, “Anna”, is a lot more ’80’s new-wave with synthesizers and horns so groovy, not even Butler can help from dancing like a madman. If you don’t understand the reference, watch his “Anna” music video.
Toward the end of the album, he starts taking things a little bit slower with stripped-down piano ballads like “Sing To Me” and “Finish What I Started”.
Lyrically, this album is pretty bizarre, to say the least. On “What I Want”, Butler goes through a list of desires pertaining to his partner with lines like “I will buy you a pony, we could cook it for supper, I know a great recipe for pony macaroni.”
Other songs like “Something’s Coming” sound like apocalyptic anthems for impending doom with choruses like, “Something’s coming, oh is it the end? I don’t know, but it sure as hell ain’t the beginning” and warnings to “Look out, look out, look out!” in the verses.
Like many musicians who decide to record their own solo album, Butler could have just made an off-brand version of an Arcade Fire album, but “Policy” is not one of those cases. Though a couple of songs are reminiscent of the band’s most recent release titled “Reflektor”, they still have a sound unique to themselves, and that’s what makes “Policy” stand out.
“Policy” was recorded over one week in Jimmy Hendrix’s old living room. For a debut solo release, Will Butler knocked this one out the park, but don’t just take my word for it; give it the attention it deserves.