An Angle – And Take It With A Grain of Salt (CD)

An Angel’s lead vocalist, Kris, likes eir Bright Eyes albums a lot. An by a lot, I mean that the first track, “For Every Day Brought Up This One” has a deadpan Conor imitation done by the Kris in question. However, unlike Conor’s Lifted album, even though Kris goes and has a host of musicians creating the music, the music sounds impressively professional where everything sounded so raw and unfinished on the Lifted album. “Unnoticeable” continues the comparison, but in a good way – the track rides crests of catchy melody and an equally favorable acoustic. Moving back and forth from a very crackly, almost old-LP esque sound, An Angle still creates some sense of continuity through Kris’ reedy voice and indie-meets-emo sound. The sound of a track like “Today I Sound Your Face” is very superficially similar to the Americana wave of indie-rock (led by hacks like Devendra Banhart) but Kris does the intelligent thing and roots eirself in the current period of music. “Self Medicate” comes through in the delivery of the same brand of slowly-murmured out music that one begins to expect from An Angel, but Kris and the kids never one begin to bore. The plodding, slowish nature of the track will draw any listener along for the forty or so minutes that it runs, and even though it is not the shining example of originality that the disc released by fellow label-mates Jenoah released earlier this year, “Grain of Salt” is still a fun album.

Something that is immediately memorable on this disc is “Like A Locket, Like A Necklace, Like A Blacelet”, placing together a moments an echoed set of vocals that skillfully mixes with the bipolar guitars on the track. This is the perfection of the singer with acoustic genre, as Kris goes and emotionally involves everyone on the track while still putting forth a brand of professionalism and maturity in terms of eir arrangements. An Angle is just another notch on the list of accomplishments that Drive-Thru can claim for this year. It is sad that many people will just write off An Angle as being little more than a Bright Eyes clone, as they will miss all the peaks and valleys, all the emotion that Kris puts into each and every track. Pick this album up if you have any love for the strong singer-songwriter tradition in American music, whether it be Paul Simon or Rufus Wainwright – An Angle may not have gotten the success of the former artists, but they deserve it.

Top Tracks: Like A Locket, Like A Necklace, Like A Bracelet , Did You, Did You, Did You

Rating: 6.0/10

An Angle – And Take It With A Grain of Salt / 2004 Drive-Thru / 11 Tracks / / / Reviewed 05 February 2005

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