Joan as Police Woman
Play It Again Sam
Joan Wasser, who’s been recording under the name Joan as Police Woman for more than a decade, possesses a slow-burning, late-night voice that can handle everything from torchy laments to pop epics to slinky ’70s-style R&B. The seductive songs on her stirring new album, Damned Devotion, explore anticipation, desire (existential and physical), and the thrill of making the leap from isolation to connection. “All that you imagine / Lies around that shiny corner,” she exclaims to the funky beat of “Steed (For Jean Genet).” And then there’s the brooding tune “Valid Jagger,” which could easily be repurposed to commercial effect by a mainstream diva: “Gotta give up all the drama,” Wasser purrs. “Even when you think without a doubt there’s some secret hiding place.” But don’t be fooled by her languid delivery: Damned Devotion sizzles with a tantalizing passion that can quicken the pulse and turn the everyday into an event.