Angels of Light CD reviewed by Troy Brookins

Music Reviews
Angels of Light CD reviewed by Troy Brookins
Aug 29, 2007, 20:19

Angels of Light - We Are Him


It has been nearly a quarter of a century since Michael Gira sicked the Swans upon an unsuspecting public in the form of the seminal FILTH—a record that split your head open and served as an influential springboard for many. While peers Sonic Youth went on to become indie/critical darlings, Gira continued to ripen and experiment until there wasn't much resemblance to the early noise that either enthralled or enraged. After fifteen years, Gira decided it was time to move on from Swans and shut the door with the brilliant Soundtracks for the Blind. Coming full circle, the reviews for the first and last Swans releases were either extreme examples of hero worship or bloated with loathing and hatred. Gira has always been a figure apt to polarize the community, but that has begun to change a bit with his post Swans project, Angels of Light. More people are starting to come around and realize that a huge portion of the indie scene was built on the shoulders of Michael Gira.

Backed by Akron/Family, Gira laid down the basic tracks for We Are Him and then brought in some friends to round out the sound. What emerged is a beautifully constructed example of Gira's prolific ability to evolve—always hitting the high mark without ever recycling his former self. The latest Angels of Light record is as fresh as the first and there just aren't many others gaming it as long who could claim such a feat. This is the power of Gira—sadly overlooked by far too many. The closest comparison is to look at what Nick Cave has achieved and Michael Gira absolutely deserves to be respected in the same fashion. He may not embrace the same conventions but that shouldn't mean a thing when it comes to recognizing what has been accomplished and what continues to be pioneering.  Failing to acknowledge this would be an absolute misstep for anyone who appreciates those who never waver when it comes to taking a chance and Gira has taken many. You would be remiss not to celebrate another fine offering from someone who obviously gives a fuck when it comes to the final product—never selling short. [Young God]

-Troy Brookins

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