Brant Bjork

Local Angel

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Whenever Brant Bjork releases a new album as a solo artist or as a member of a band, it's a crapshoot as to what musical style will be included in its grooves. Will it be Santana-like funk jams (the great Jalamanta), stoner/desert rock (Kyuss' classic Blues for the Red Sun), or vicious gutter punk (Mondo Generator's A Drug Problem That Never Existed)? On his 2004 solo outing, Local Angel, Bjork throws another wild card onto the table, as the album is a mellow, bare-bones affair. And while the music is laid-back, the music is unmistakably Brant Bjork -- especially evident in his trademark jive-talkin' lyrics. While a few songs may have benefited from more volume and a beefed-up backing band (such as "Bliss Ave"), Bjork's deconstructed approach is showcased on such standouts as "Beautiful Powers" and "Hippie," while he gets to indulge his longtime Jimi Hendrix fetish, with a cover of "Hey Joe." More than ever, Local Angel proves that Bjork is a modern-day David Bowie of sorts -- he's constantly shifting gears. Don't be surprised if his next album contains a string orchestra.

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