Monday, September 8, 2008

Reviews:: Angela Desveaux

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There is something charming about a woman singing about lost love and heartache over dusty, roots instrumentation. Of course those sounds come in many forms, but the honesty and openness that exudes from the gentle exhale of a road weary woman is as comforting as a hug from a close friend. And when it comes to Angela Desveaux, it's a hug you want to hold onto for just a moment longer, knowing the embrace can make all your pain will simply go away.

Her new record, The Mighty Ship, opens with the confessional Other Side and thanks to her voice, the excellent (albeit subdued) guitar work and backing vocals of Snailhouse's Mike Feuerstack and the beautiful pedal steel of Joe Grass, you are instantly invested into the record. It's probably something only I think, but knowing that a woman can get run over and turn to the sounds you normally find from men at the bottom of the bottle renews my faith in life and music.

Desveaux does range on the poppier side of the equation, but she's able to mix the pleasantries (Sure Enough and Shape You) with enough tear in your beer pain (Joining Another) and almost Gospel (the powerful Mighty Ship) to force you to believe ever emotion she creates. She changes tempo nicely across the record, proving her voice can chameleon from country to pop and almost anywhere in between. The Spanish guitar and marching drum beat of For Design is a perfect example of how well Angela adapts (even in mid song as they add a soft piano part and guitar noodle) without sounding out of place.

I don't want to stress the importance of Feuerstack's stick - these songs are Desveaux's and the arrangements are more than just two guitars (like the nice horns on the title track) - but the infectious grit he adds to tracks like Hide From You or The Way You Stay really compliments Angela's commanding pipes. The duo's symbiotic relationship blossoms on each song, in countless ways. A quick listen to his noodling in the middle of the slowed down Joining Another shows how he keeps the song moving and gets you excited for her voice to come back in.

This record was a complete surprise to me, sent to me by a friend and I'd heard nothing about it. Considering how naive I was to the listen, the immediate impact it had on me was pretty amazing. I'd highly recommend this record to anyone who usually falls in line with my tastes, and really to anyone who can appreciate a talented artist with a terrific voice and rock solid band. Basically, to anyone who likes music.

Posted at 2:15 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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