The Angels of Light Sing Other People | Mike Rowell

...some of the shortest, prettiest, and friendliest Angels of Light works to date

The hazy, out-of-focus portraits gracing the cover packaging of the fourth studio CD from Angels of Light -- current project of former Swans frontman Michael Gira -- illustrate well the 12 tracks of cryptic narrative within. Reportedly inspired by specific individuals, including some of Gira's personal associates, these pseudo-biographical vignettes follow a fantastical dream logic wrapped in the darkly ominous lyrical imagery that has coursed through Gira's work since the Swans' earliest bludgeon. "Michael's White Hands," for example, is allegedly based on a certain pop idol who's been spending a lot of time in court lately, but enigmatic lyrics like "feed the gas into my lungs" take things up an unsettling notch. Yet this album's three-minute songs are some of the shortest, prettiest, and friendliest Angels of Light works to date. Gira has long excelled at making uncomplicated compositions weirdly catchy and ornate, in part because he surrounds himself with talented collaborators, and the members of recent Gira discovery Akron/Family accentuate "Other People" beautifully with chiming, folksy instrumentation and some Brian Wilson-ish arrangements. Who / What: The Angels of Light Music Label: Young God Details: With Akron/Family on Saturday, April 30 885-0750 www. Where: Great American Music Hall