Angels of Light Sing Other People | filmore mescalito holmes

One indie-folk album, contents: 20 instruments, 10 musicians, 10 seconds of drumming, trace amounts of electric instruments, crickets

There are certain traits and actions observable to any music fan regardless of personal taste that separate true artists from mere product producers. One of these is the embracement of change and the willingness to try new things seriously, like how Beck and Radiohead are constantly changing style and content. Lyricist, vocalist, guitarist, and Young God label owner Michael Gira has surely undergone some changes over the past couple of decades. The obvious change would naturally be the transition from leading the way in avant-garde fringe punk to this eclectic, largely acoustic folk effort. Turning his back on lengthy instrumental passages and cluttered crescendos, Gira sets anything electric to a minimum and essentially banned drums, effectively opening up the songs on Sing 'Other People.' "My Friend Thor" mixes instrumentation reminiscent of Four Tet with high register, bizarre vocal stylings Frank Zappa would have certainly appreciated. The lyrics to this and every track is strongly character-based. Over Gira and Akron/Family's varied but levelly mixed soundscape, the novelistic lyricism forges 'Other People' into a unique narrative form in an age of relentless, impersonal "rock you, baby" pop tunes. It's like an audiobook with the best music ever featured in the medium. Take that, Simon & Shuster. 1. Lena's Song 2. The Kid Is Already Breaking 3. My Friend Thor 4. On the Mountain 5. Destroyer 6. Dawn 7. My Sister Said 8. Michael's White Hands 9. To Live Through Someone 10. Simon Is Stronger Than Us 11. Purple Creek 12. Jackie's Spine Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home Young God, 2003 rating: 4.5/5 reviewer: wolfman There is something mystically cryptic about Michael Gira's current band name The Angels of Light. Driven by constant sorrow and overwhelming heartbreak, The Angels of Light may be indie rocks most paradoxical outfit in today's music. Their third album, coincidentally named Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home sheds a concurrent redemption for the wretchedness and ever-present melancholy of ex-Swans Michael Gira. Accompanied with melodic yet numinous instrumentation and his powerful drone or sweet whispers, Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home exemplifies a road less travels by our regretful traveller. What is evident and striking is how subtle are Michael Gira's cries for forgiveness and redemption. The album portrays the familiar themes of previous work and familiarizes the listen to Michael Gira's frightening inner-emotion. Also, Gira's delivery is more abrupt, almost violent in retrospect of his previous work with Swans. The musical approach remains a constant illogicality, bouncing from uplifting ballads to damp and sombre acoustic folk. Attached with the presence of Gira's torture, the album is an inconsistent balance of an extremely bi-polar emotional intake. Such ballads as "Sunset Park" exemplify the inner struggle of the listener's arousing sentiment. Throughout, the song remains upbeat, progressing boldly and feverishly from beginning to end. But what remains to be analyzed is Gira's lyrical surprise, chanting over and over again "She Brings Some, She'll Bring None" during the entire five-plus minutes of the song. Only Gira knows the true interpretation of this masterpiece, but what remains unmistakable is the Gira has opened his heart to his past complications and has slightly accepted his 'faith' as a disturbed soul. And that is what makes this album a true masterpiece, invoking a plethora of emotion, good and evil, bright and sombre, happy and depressed, and everything fittingly in between; where the past records were linear in distress and unhappiness. However this album makes you feel a broader range of emotion as Michael Gira completely envelops you within the realm of your mind. And that is the true resonance of Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home. Where in the past, I would passionately listen to Michael Gira for my personal gratification that my was under control in the unforgiving world, I found myself accepting the fact that Angels of Light may be doing the same on their new album. Perhaps 'everything is good' with Michael Gira, but that can be left to interpretation. What is obvious is that Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home is a frightening roller-coaster ride that will leave you wanting more and more. 1. Palisades 2. All Souls' Rising 3. Kosinski 4. Nations 5. The Family God 6. Because She Was 7. Rose of Los Angeles 8. What You Were 9. Sunset Park 10. Wedding 11. What Will Come