Angels of Light | Everything is Good Here... | Review

Magnet | J. Gabriel Boylan

Michael Gira is always one step ahead of himself

His sublime Swans is still too intense for most ears, yet it forecast everything from grunge to industrial rock during its 15 year existence. In the 90's, Gira retired to subtler sounds, penning love songs and loss songs for Angels Of Light. While AOL's three previous albums covered the ground between introspective folk and lazy psych (which, to quote a phrase, is like spanning from the living room to the dining room), Everything Is Good Here; Please Come Home expands the band's sound considerably. Gone are the drippy sentiments laid down, it almost seemed, solely to distance Gira from his aggressive roots. These are fractured tales, pop scrap heaps and diseased love songs that Gira recorded as simple acoustic numbers before compulsively layering and polishing them into something at least emotionally reminiscent of his work with Swans. What has always made Gira's songwriting interesting has been an ability to focus his wild energies, livid social conscience and heavy heart into a laser beam of brilliant sonic direction and arresting singularity. Angels Of Light doesn't sound like much other music available today. It's too hard and too soft at the same time, too caring and too careless, too organized and too loose, too pretty to be so dirty; but it's proof that Gira might have finally recognized and perfected what was so great about Michael Gira in the first place.