At a time when women are fighting back against society’s treatment of them, U.S. Girls delivers In A Poem Unlimited. The record is brief, giving Meghan Remy a chance to say everything she feels is necessary without losing the listener in the drone of filler tracks. It is in the brevity of thirty-eight minutes that In A Poem Unlimited triumphs as a both a smooth, sensual soundscape and a fierce, honest examination of politics, society, and the struggles of being a woman.
The album welcomes us with breathy gasps and eloquent bass guitar on “Velvet 4 Sale.” This also becomes the first instance that Remy smoothly merges her sharp songwriting along with these deeply sensual melodies. She glides over the instrumental as she comments on the violence against women, retaliating against a culture where women are hurt and lessened. We hear this again on “Rage of Plastics” and “M.A.H,” the latter of which is a sobering description of Meghan’s complex relationship with President Obama.
Songs like “M.A.H” are testaments to Remy’s talent as a songwriter, as she manages to capture the dilemma felt by many liberals now that they take a harsh look back on what was the Obama years. Moving forward in the tracklist, we see this same kind of lyricism on songs like “Pearly Gates” and “Poem.” Admittedly, “Pearly Gates” does repeat this theme of women’s subordination, but Remy seems to explore a different aspect of the scenario and take it to its logical extreme. “Poem,” on the other hand, has a much larger scope, examining the present and asking the question everyone has asked: how are we going to change?
The only song that seemed to be a little more than necessary is the longest one, “Time.” “Time” simply feels far too long with its sparse lyrics and art-pop instrumental which, frankly, wears you out about half way through the song. Aside from this, perhaps one of the only other things that could be changed about this record is the run time. While the album does feel complete, there is always a desire to hear more, especially when two of the tracks are short skits.
All in all, In A Poem Unlimited is a fantastic artpop album with a strong lyrical force moving it forward. ‘Rosebud’, the song with the catchiest chorus on the whole album, serves as a reminder of this. Meghan Remy has managed to create something that both reflects the times and attempts to counteract them, resulting in what is likely one of the better albums so far this year.