The Angels of Light Sing: Other People | Review
HOUSTON PRESS | John Cramer
the beauty of the overall work comes through loud and clearAugust 25, 2005 On Michael Gira's fourth studio release under the band name Angels of Light, he continues to lay out the same naked and personal material he explored on 2003's Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home. The big difference on this recording is the use of Akron/Family as his band. Gira has also dispensed with drums almost entirely, thus allowing the songs to carry their own weight without the adornment of a traditional rhythm section. Also gone are the brutal electric guitars of his early Swans material. What are left are honest, emotionally dense songs. On the first listen or two, the Akron/Family's exuberance creates a strange, uncomfortable backdrop for a voice as menacing as Gira's. At times, the music and backing vocals are downright bouncy, and if you're familiar with Gira's work, this prospect may send you running away in fear. But the more you listen, the less the record seems schizo. Oddly, there's a hint of the Beach Boys sneaking around below the surface, or maybe Gram Parsons, and even stranger than that is the fact that the music gains from these unusual elements. Gira's ongoing effort to strip his music down to its most basic elements has been rewarded in this, his least self-indulgent recording to date. The bones of these songs are strong, and the beauty of the overall work comes through loud and clear. Recommended for fans and newbies alike.