Review: Will Butler - Policy - Arcade Fire's scraps?

Mandi Goodier 

Can Arcade Fire's Will Butler have as much success with his first solo album?

Will Butler Policy
Will Butler - Policy
Label: Merge Records

Canadian supergroup Arcade Fire have amassed a huge amount of critical acclaim during their career, and multi-instrumentalist Will Butler—younger brother of frontman Win—has been a key member from the start.

Now he’s delivered his first solo album and, like Arcade Fire, it’s catchy, danceable and lyrically rich, but with enough points of departure to keep it interesting. A unique talent in his own right, it is perhaps little known that Will has already ventured away from Arcade Fire to score the soundtrack to Her, the love story between one man and his phone's OS. Although Will is more than capable of proving his individual talent, it isn’t long before you start comparing him to his brother, and it's not just vocally. Policy feels like excess material from Arcade Fire’s 2007 album Neon Bible—the stuff not quite good enough to make it on to the final cut.

There is much to praise about individual songs on the album. As stand alone singles they are solid pop songs and ballads. As an album it lacks a certain amount of overall control. Influences as disparate as Kraftwerk to 2000s indie creep though and the whole thing becomes more of a portrayal of this Butler's musical prowess, or a compilation of songs he's been accumulating over the years.    

Key tracks: “Anna”, “What I Want”, “Witness

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