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Angelique Bianca was a former member of the Indians who left over creative differences. She stepped out on her own with the 1998 release Present on which she wrote all of the material (save for a Nick Drake cover), played guitar, did programming, and served as co-producer. Present mixes uptempo numbers that merge dance and rock with light ethereal pop and the album has more than a few good melodies. Unfortunately, most of the lyrics range from pithy, new-age observations to trite platitudes as on the mid-tempo shuffle of "Losing Your Way." There are a handful of cuts that do manage to rise above the ordinary. The single, "Number," is a nice slice of Garbagesque dance/rock with a tribal drumming backbeat. "James A Junkie" features her strongest lyrics. The song is a somber, heartfelt piece about trying to maintain a relationship with an addict and Joel Shearer contributes some fine slide guitar work. Present is definitely listenable. There's just not a lot that sticks with you beyond that listen.

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