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洋楽の紹介! johnny:rock,singer-songwriter,folk, acoustic,electronic jane: female vocalists

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2009/09/24
Angela Desveaux

Category :  jane (famale vocalists)
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Canada
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official website here

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Angela Desveaux & The Mighty Ship
From its opening cascade of chords to its last flickering notes, Angela Desveaux’s new record is an arresting, emotive affair. The Montreal native has followed the critical success of 2006’s Wandering Eyes with a bold display of timeless, country-tinged rock ’n’ roll. Clearly revelling in the chance to make an album with a full band, Desveaux doesn’t let the inevitable sonic uproar submerge her presence as a singer and coyly direct lyricist. Instead, she and her band suss out the hooks in wonderful pop fare like “Hide from You” and “The Way You Stay,” whose sunny demeanour blinds listeners from the whole album’s underlying angst. Relationships can be the stuff of tawdry art but Desveaux is a skilled expressionist, crafting heavy tunes with poise.
(EYEWEEKLY.com here)

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Angela Desveaux & The Mighty Ship (2008)

Pitchfork:Album Review here
Title tracks are often emblematic of the albums they adorn, but Angela Desveaux's "Mighty Ship" feels like a red herring on the album that shares its name. Montreal-based Desveaux is being sold as a singer steeped in traditional country music influences, yet "Mighty Ship" is the only song on the record that deeply reflects an antiquarian sensibility, either musically or lyrically, evoking church hymns and agrarian hardships in its portrayal of a young woman who has lost her husband at sea.

Initially, this title track's singularity seems like a disappointment. So much of what claims a kinship with country in indie spheres only utilizes the genre for cosmetic purposes, ornamenting things with a little pedal steel rather than really digging into something timeless and substantial, as "Mighty Ship" manages with its mournful horns and sad Christian reverence. The remainder of The Mighty Ship may lack such distinctive roots, but in its place Desveaux offers something more satisfying, if less regional. Namely, much of the rest of her album is marked by punchy pop-rock and plenty of sharp hooks, retaining just enough twang for Desveaux to emerge as a worthy inheritor to Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash, two women savvy enough to explore ruralist attitudes without neglecting the distinct physical pleasures of well-crafted modern pop. Patently conjuring revered, bygone c&w can quite honestly be a crutch, and there's nothing artificially propping up the tight, sprightly sprint of "Sure Enough", the spacious riffing of "Hide From You" or the moody, 1980s AOR thrum of "Shape You". The sadder, slower likes of "Other Side" and "Joining Another" may register more closely to country by the sheer fact of their solemnity, but there's no dirt underneath their nails and that's fine, since neither song is exactly boasting a sharecropper's lineage anyway.

While "Mighty Ship" is an aberration musically, the title track nonetheless carries lyrical concerns that resonate throughout the record. Desveaux spends the bulk of these songs examining the sobering realities of romance and the strain relationships exert on the feminine psyche. It's not an album rife with specifics, and sometimes the vagueness can be slightly maddening, like Desveaux's confession in "Other Side" that "It's taking all my energy when you ask me to do something wrong," or the pseudo-portentous repetition of "There's a full moon on the rise" in "Worried Mind." For the most part, however, her words cut to the quick, and not just the hot-button invocations of diets and shame on "For Design", but also the stark-simple sentiments driving "The Way You Stay", where Desveaux pleads "What do you want me to do for you/ What do you need me for," or the whole of "Joining Another", which finds her mourning the partial loss of self that's an inevitable component of any love affair.

Perceived loss of self is a risk Desveaux herself takes in making music so largely bereft of easy cultural or regional signifiers, yet the keenness of her songcraft makes these hard-won, universal sentiments far more rewarding than most lazy splashes of local color.


Carolina Ways

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