Various Artists

We Are Each Other's Angels, Vol. 1 & 2

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AllMusic Review by

The word "angel," probably because of its euphonious sound as much as for the appealing religious/beneficent concept it represents, turns up in countless songs, from the big band standard "And the Angels Sing," to hard rocker Jimi Hendrix's "Angel," and country star Willie Nelson's "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground." In 1995, folksinger Chuck Brodsky introduced his song "We Are Each Other's Angels," which served as the title song for a various-artists collection released by 1-800-PRIMECD in 2000. Three years later, Hungry for Music's identically titled two-disc set, which also includes Brodsky's song, has no other relationship to the earlier album, but gathers together 39 songs that use the word "angel" in one context or another, songs written and performed by a wide variety of indie and marginal folk, rock, blues, new age, and country singer/songwriters and musicians, including such notables as Peter Case, June Carter Cash, Rev. Gary Davis, Iris DeMent, Don Dixon, Radney Foster, Nanci Griffith, ex-dB's Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, the Kennedys, David Lanz, Delbert McClinton, Graham Parker, Ellis Paul, Billy Joe Shaver, the Subdudes, and George Winston. Nearly all the selections (the big exception being Davis' "I Heard the Angels Singing") come from the 1990s and early 2000s, and most are original compositions. The performers sometimes view angels in the conventional religious sense, but more often their references are to less specific beings, or to mere humans with angelic qualities, what Foster calls "Everyday Angels." And there are occasional humorous or quirky depictions, such as Laura Freeman's "Angels With Harmonicas." There are some excellent songs and performances here, but, at nearly two-and-a-half hours, this is a very long album, and the central idea eventually wears out its welcome as one similar-sounding vocal-and-acoustic-guitar arrangement follows another. Even a sympathetic listener may have had more than enough of angels long before the two discs are over.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:35
2 4:46
3 3:45
4 4:00
5 2:43
6 3:59
7 4:59
8
3:11
9 3:14
10 6:03
11
3:05
12 3:28
13 4:44
14
3:47
15
3:14
16 7:08
17 3:15
18
3:07
19 0:41
20
3:31
21 2:58
22 3:39
23 3:08
24 3:45
25 2:21
26
4:29
27 2:51
28 2:57
29
4:09
30 3:24
31
4:00
32 3:22
33
3:31
34 3:43
35
4:53
36 6:37
37 5:01
38 3:42
39 3:23
blue highlight denotes track pick