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Angels of Light | Review

indieworkshop.com | Grant Capes

One thing about Gira’s work, especially on the Angels of Light material, is that I can never seem to pick a favorite song.

04-13-2005 No artist is as indie as Michael Gira. He has consistently done what he saw fit, from the bludgeoning amplified ballet of the Swans to the lush and exotic instrumentation of the World of Skin. His work became even more amazing and bounteous once he built his own record label, eschewing forever the fetters of the record industry. His solo releases, mostly limited edition CD-R’s, signed by him, contained some of the seeds for this, easily the most coherent of the Angels of Light recordings. If you can’t get those recordings, then please, jump on this one ASAP. This coherency is surprising, in that every song was intended by Gira to be totally separate and autonomous. What links them together, aside from the lack of drums throughout, is Gira’s consistently vision-invoking voice and the Akron/Family’s rather astounding turn as a choral back-up group for Gira (which is a little sad, considering the stupendous band he had assembled for the Everything is Good Here / Please Come Home record, but things never last forever, especially good things). One thing about Gira’s work, especially on the Angels of Light material, is that I can never seem to pick a favorite song. Every one has something that speaks to me, but each also repulses almost equally. With this record, the songs seem to have lifted their gravity for a moment, and are allowed to shine for a while, before the dark clouds return. That is in no way trying to say that any of his songs are depressing or, god-forbid, “gothic”, but they have an implied heaviness that is undeniable. Perhaps it is the voices and additional instruments of the Akron/Family, Young God’s newest and most promising group of musicians. They add a wild frenzied abandon to songs like “Michael’s White Hands” and a gentle beauty to the first Angels of Light song that I can call “my favorite”, “My Sister Said”. Now, none of this hero worship or boot kissing probably matters to you, gentle readers. You just want to know, in quantifiable terms, how much this record rules, and justifiably, it does. It just rocks in a stranger way than most.
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