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Angela Josephine


Review by Gary Hill

Some music is really hard to categorize. This release is such music. There are several pieces that are clearly mellower progressive music (if not exactly progressive rock). Others, though, land closer toward roots music. Still, overall, I think the argument can be made to land this under the prog heading, particularly based on the closer. All that said, while this varies quite a bit, the spirit and voice of Angela Josephine is the one unifying factor throughout the set. It's also the biggest selling point of the disc. Josephine has a strong and versatile voice, and every bit of this works to a large degree because of that voice.

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Track by Track Review
This Light (Prelude)
Piano opens this. The vocals come over the top as some rather symphonic elements are also heard. This is a slow moving piece that gets some rather dreamy, yet dark, prog sounds added to the mix as it continues.
Got to Believe

Some Americana emerges on this number. It's more of a rocker, but the over-layers of sound bring something closer to a modern prog sound like Radiohead. This is particularly effective and powerful. It has some intriguing contrasts built into it. The hard rocking section later has an almost arena like drive to it.

Go Easy
Starting with a country folk vibe and male vocals, this is glacially slow. After the first verse, Josephine's vocals join. There is a bluesy kind of vibe here, but again there are layers that make it feel more in line with things like Dream Pop and modern prog. The blending of voices by the second chorus brings a nice country music touch to it.
Folk music, country and more merge on this intriguing tune. It's somewhat mellow, mid-tempoed, and quite effective. The song is both intricate and pretty.
40 Days (Interlude)
We are clearly back into the progressive rock zone with this intriguing instrumental. It has some trippy textures and some killer intricate instrumental work. I love the mood and melodies of this number.
Red Roses
The folk music elements are back in style here. The violin and intricate musical arrangement land it more in the vein of folk prog, though. The vocal delivery really sells this number, but you can't discount the power of the musical arrangement.
River Rising
The opening section here reinforces that folk prog tag. This has a lot of classical sound along with an evocative and powerful folk sound.
The Way of Light
A very gentle and pretty piece, this is delicate and very much in line with folk prog.
Face to the Wind (Finale)
At over eight minutes of music, this is the epic closer of the set. It starts mellow and gradually grows upward. Classical textures, rich arrangements and some folk music serve as the basis for a cut that is decidedly moody progressive (if not progressive rock) music. The vocals again really excel. This is such a beautiful and powerful musical adventure. After the five and a half minute mark it drops to near silence as the classical elements move it forward. Piano and voice create a rather haunting and understated movement from there. As the voice drops away it continues instrumentally with more intricate folk prog sounds.
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