Joan As Police Woman To Survive (Reveal Records) Joan Wasser's second album is a lyrical, moving ode to her desire to be happy. It melds her diverse background as a classically trained violinist and member of indie punk bands including The Dambuilders and Antony and the Johnsons. Nowadays Wasser straddles the unusual camps of indie soul and on To Survive she has backing from the likes of David Sylvian and Rufus Wainwright. On opener Honor My Wishes her emotional call for her lover to stay is picked out by a simple piano ballad backed by Sylvian's vocals. The depth of the track, spare arrangement and her delivery is reminiscent of P.J. Harvey and throughout To Survive she illustrates the album with the kind of intelligence shown by her English counterpart. Holiday is a lulling gentle track while To Survive is testament to a mother's attempts to calm the fears of her child while smothering her own. Issues of loss and death have haunted Wasser. Her boyfriend, gifted musician Jeff Buckley, accidentally drowned in 1997 and her mother died while she was making this album. To Survive was written while Wasser was touring for more than a year to support her first album, the critically acclaimed Real Life. Written in part, she says, to beat back the loneliness of being on the road there are, fortunately, times of optimism, and things get upbeat with Magpies and the discovery of true love in Start of My Heart. It concludes with To America, where she exhibits both her pride and anger with her home before ending in a shower of brass, the sound of fireworks careering into the sky and a chorus backed by Wainwright.