Music Review // Black Polish "Forest (Monsters Live In The Trees)" (Riptide Music)


If you've been following along with Black Polish, then you will recognize three songs on this album which were released as singles prior to it.    Whether or not that statement applies to you doesn't really matter when you get right into this album.  A pop rock journey through emotions and one person's life, Black Polish draws from various sources but by the end of this the only voice I can hear is of the artist.

As this album starts with the song that is the titular track, the mood becomes ethereal and intense.   Lyrics come out such as: "I see monsters in the trees / I see creatures just like me" and they really set the mood.  A ukulele takes us into nice pop beats on "Birthright" while "Void" has a great rock sound.   On "Void" we also get the lines: "So please refrain from looking at me / While I find my own identity".

This is the theme, lyrically, throughout this album for Black Polish: struggling to find their identity.  There are lines about mixing the pinks and the blues and that just hit home with me because when it comes to the idea of being male or female I've always wondered why blue is for boys and pink is for girls.   That made me question a lot of things about my own gender identity, which this album made feel really reaffirming (I am "they/he" but I don't like confrontation so I won't correct you if you're wrong)

One aspect of this all also comes out with the lyrics: "I was raised in Christianity / but I feared that Jesus hated me".   Isn't it funny how when we learn about God and Jesus we are taught that God loves everyone and wants everyone to love everyone else, and then yet when we get into the specific details of our own lives we are abominations that God couldn't possibly love?   God save to love everyone and there were no clauses but sometimes the church likes to add those little exceptions.

Further into the album though Black Polish confesses that God is their friend now and that makes me feel better.  I think you have to reach a point in your life when you stop listening to others and just start thinking for yourself, especially with things such as religion.   But I don't want this to be thought of as an album about finding your pronouns and religion because there is a lot of quality and substance to the music itself, where you should listen just to hear the ukulele on "Bugs" or those stomps on "Willows".

Like most things in life, there isn't a clear cut answer for any of this in terms of it being a yes or no option.  Is this album pop?  Yes, but also no.   There is much more depth on this album than what I would consider to be pop and yet it still could be radio friendly.  Is this album only for those struggling with their gender identity?  I think if you are (or have) then this will hit closer to home, but even if you've never given it a second of thought you can still press play and find a reason to rock out with these songs.  


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