Angels of Light

The Angels of Light Sing Other People

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Since the disintegration of Swans, founding member Michael Gira has stated publicly that he intentionally attempts to steer clear of the rock sound. So what kind of music does Gira specialize in with his post-Swans outfit, Angels of Light, you ask? Picture a cowboy sitting alongside a campfire, with a gaggle of quirky pals accompanying him, and you wouldn't be too far off. On the Angels' 2005 effort, Angels of Light Sing Other People, Gira follows the same procedure that he has previously -- he tracks the songs by himself on acoustic guitar before adding the contributions of others. But this time, the singer/guitarist has added a new twist to the proceedings -- no drums would be used (save for a ten-second stretch at one point) -- which puts even more focus on the lyrics and vocals. That said, Gira's vocals may warble off-key frequently, but that's obviously part of the charm of the Angels of Light -- a bunch of friends creating stark tunes just for the fun of it. And the approach comes together quite nicely more often than not, especially on such standouts as the album opening "Lena's Song," "On the Mountain," and "Dawn." Obviously, not what most Swans fans would expect from Gira, but in terms of a strong singer/songwriter album, Angels of Light Sing Other People is definitely a worthy listen.

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