Yngwie Malmsteen

Angels of Love

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Angels of Love is both a compilation and a new album of sorts by Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. On it, he has gone over his entire catalog, picked out the various power ballads -- i.e., love songs -- and re-recorded them with steel- and nylon-stringed acoustic guitars, string arrangements, synthesizer and synth guitar, various keyboards, and yes, some trademark electric guitar. Why this matters is that the original news releases were quoted as saying there were no electric guitars on the album, which would have been an utter shock. Now, of course, the only question is how Malmsteen punters will react to a rehash of older material, rearranged, re-recorded, and re-presented outside of its context of origin. The bottom line? These selections are all good and add up to an adequate mood soundtrack, although they do not provide listeners with what they've come to expect from the self-proclaimed "Bach of Rock." Not that this is necessarily a bad thing; changeups can be righteous -- especially when they frustrate advance expectations. Two tracks in particular, "Ocean Sonata" and "Memories," manage to reach the heights of the potential Malmsteen himself created with his own pyrotechnics and abilities.

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