On his debut, “Policy,” singer-songwriter Will Butler attempts to scramble out from underneath the behemoth shadow of indie-rock super group Arcade Fire.
But the dreamy rock feeling that flows so freely from his previous band does not carbon-copy itself throughout “Policy.”
“Someone please, tell me what my name is” he laments on the Lennon-esque “Finish What I Started” as Butler stretches his legs to find his own identity.
It’s clear that Butler meant to bring a whimsical quality to “Policy,” as it possesses elements of alternative, rock, indie-pop, rockabilly and American folk-rock.
“Take My Side,” is a fun introduction to the album, declaring there will be few dark, introspective pockets on the album. “Sing To Me,” with its dramatic piano and organ notes, is the only real brooding song on the record, but is also the bluesiest and most heartfelt.
“What I Want” keeps a tongue-in-cheek humor, while “Anna” has an infectious, brisk beat led by a bright synthesizer melody; Butler easily evokes that famous Elvis hiccup. The elementary lyrics on “Anna” keeps things light as well.
Will Butler also sounds a lot like his brother, Win, and almost uncomfortably so, at least on “Something’s Coming.” But Will Butler’s familiar vocals are not what make that song the best of the bunch. It’s the hot blast of a disco-rock beat paired with an unusual deep, fuzzy bass and exuberant piano that makes it the catchiest on “Policy.”
While it’s true that Butler is still exhibiting sounds of his previous band, there’s enough of his boisterous personality on “Policy” to elicit welcome surprises.
Policy was released March 10 on Merge Records.