Each time I review a disc, it gives me a little more information about some facet of life which I had not known before the review. This time, I realized that I was listening to the former leader of the Swans. After having mouth agape at the disc, I decided to forge on and was met with another shock â€“ this music is some of the hardest to categorize (pigeonhole), and for that, I thank Michael. Where a track comes out like â€œMy Friend Thorâ€, seemingly dead-pan serious and straightforward, one just has to wait for the inevitable â€œgotcha!â€ â€“ this time, a very Beach Boys-esque choir accompaniment. Angels of Light delve through all the different movements of American music and pick and choose on a track by track basis. What results is an incredibly diverse album that is truly experimentative in its designs. Where a track like â€œOn the Mountainâ€ can simultaneously tap the gospel and country elements of American music, Angels of Light do it in such a way that there is no doubt that someone from 2004 was doing patently 1920s and 1950s music.
Even recalling someone like Johnny Cash for â€œOn the Mountainâ€, the myriad of souls that Michael allows to host in eir body is absurd â€“ there is just not an individual alive that can construct tracks of such beauty without either experience or a past-life. It is absurd to talk like that, but Iâ€™m not the only one to talk like that. Michael eirself talks about â€œthe creature that hovers behind [eir] headâ€ in something as common as the promo sheet. â€œDestroyerâ€ is another high-point during the disc, where Angels of Light puts on a country twang and gets a chorus to back eir up. This is not alternative music, this is not rock, but these are modern-day classics.
When Angels of Light do approach the current period, in tracks like (Dawn), they can create a track that immediately puts legions of bands and performers to shame. â€œDawnâ€ uses a Depeche Mode-style of vocal inflections with a mournal set of background harmonies and a short run-time to make the track that much more memorable. Angels of Light are mediums, and not like John Edward or that horrible network show â€“ Michael can pull from the are a spirit and use eir own skills to put that spiritâ€™s travails into song. This is not just an album, but a story, a movie, and above all, it is transcendent.
Top Tracks: My Sister Said, On the Mountain
Angels of Light â€“ The Angels of Light Sing â€˜Other Peopleâ€™ / 2005 Young God / 12 Tracks / http://www.younggodrecords.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 28 January 2005