Song Sequencing 101 must teach artists to start an album with their strongest song, figuring that if they are reeled in from the very beginning, listeners will give the record a chance.
Rose Polenzani must have passed the course with flying colors, as “Shake Through to Ugly” is an incredible leadoff track. The furthest thing imaginable from a catchy pop song, this tune reaches down into you in a pleasantly disturbing fashion. Witness the first lines: “I was told I was a wise man by a woman I deceived/And her lover thought me handsome/He was not to be believed.”
Predominantly comprised of a girl and her acoustic guitar, Anybody is chock full of deeply felt lyrics and, if you can abstain from leaving the first track on repeat, many more gems await their discovery.
Not often are the artist and the art so inseparable as this. For even with such penetrating phrases as are contained in “Omen” (“All the stars were falling/She said it was a godsend/I promised her that I would take her where the stars land.”), without Polenzani’s sensitivity, emotion, and almost mystical handling, the brilliance might be lost.
As the closing statement of Anybody, she offers “Parhelion,” a powerful tribute to Teena Brandon and the issues and barriers presented by gender. Amy Ray of Indigo Girls once described Polenzani as existing on a level all her own and that seems to be a most fitting statement.