CD REVIEW: Angela Sheik - Home Before Dark
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"Angela Sheik blew me away"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Label: Independent Artist
"Bring it On" Single Stream Premier: http://ventsmagazine.com/exclusive-interview-angela-sheik/
Alternative Rock, Dance Pop. Psychedelic Soul
Angela Sheik can be described as a Soulful Music Innovator. To start she is a fierce vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who wows audiences with her fast effects pedal footwork and mischievous smile. She builds her own virtual backup band using rhythmic harmonies, beatbox rhythms, a looper pedal, and a collection of unusual instruments (including autoharp, theremin, and flute). This, combined with soulful, gut-felt melodies, blends into an electronic-infused, folk-pop style reminiscent of Imogen Heap. Her upcoming 10 track album "Home Before Dark" is scheduled for release September 16th. I was blessed to get an early copy. Pre-release information on “Home Before Dark” is coming soon via the above link so stay tuned.
The CD takes flight with the single “Bring it On” a methodical intro piece that serves up impassioned vocal feel from Sheik meshed with impressive vocal harmonies, melodic musical touches against a hooky, grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Here Comes Trouble” downshifts a bit with its methodical piano driven intro eventually lending itself into an impressive “Gold Standard” ballad that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Tiger in Tow” keeps thing moving in the right direction with its infectious melody, steady flowing rhythm, impressive finale, and heartfelt/thought provoking message from Sheik. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid tracks in a row. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock, with a dash of Electronic Pop and even Dub, Chill, Ambient Pop. Also present are unique elements of what I would call Alternative-Psychedelic Soul. All in all the CD touches a wide range of musical styles. Besides the four piece standard you will notice impressive instrumentation with things like impressive strings, flutes, piano, guitar and solo guitar, sporadic keyboard and synth accents, well-placed harmonies, dynamic electronic based drums all built upon a solid moog driven rhythm section to boot. The musicianship and musical touches from Sheik are clearly above the bar. In many ways she’s comparable to a female version of Beck. As for her vocal abilities, it works extremely well within the confines of this catalogue. She’s got a good look, a catchy mystique and knows how to sit deep within the pocket and sing a song with amazing vocal fluidity. Sheik has soul. Her voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with an infectious jagged edge. She’s got a good vibrato and impressive Mezzo Soprano. Sheik showcases an impressive falsetto and has much to offer insofar as power, control and finesse. As a songwriter: the songwriting consistent and rock solid across the board. The harmonies and melodies are well placed and well crafted. All the Engineering aspects are in check (Recording, Mixing, and Mastering) as the CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. The multi-instrumentalist approach from Sheik is rock solid and delivers everything you would expect from a top-tiered musical Production such as this providing much in the way of musical variety and melodic layering. It definitely offers has a lot of musical depth and variety within the sonic space. Sheik’s music reminds me of a combination between trippy and psychedelic Portishead, and Amy Winehouse. Other comparisons include: The Cardigans, Sophie B. Hawkins. Tori Amos, Beck, Fionna Apple, Melanie C, Dido and even Lana Del Rey. I especially like how she harmonizes throughout the CD. All songs are well crafted and consistent across the board. From the striking “Getting Out of Here Alive” and “When No One” to hypnotic “Over My Dead Body” and mesmerizing title track this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 9 “I Only Have Eyes for You” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
I typically dedicate this paragraph to weaknesses. I have nothing to report. NOTE: Tiger In Tow extended edition) will not be on the physical album. It will be offered exclusively during pre-orders.
From start to finish “Home Before Dark” by Angela Sheik delivers the psychedelic mojo and is a fully loaded 10 Track release from start to finish. The music is diverse, grooving, upbeat, soulful and sonically entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. The writing, playing and singing abilities of Angela Sheik quite literally blew me away. Her amazing approach to songwriting and multi instrumentation is brilliant. As an artists she has no weaknesses. Her artistic presence is simply to die for. Her overall persona and trippy mystique is something millions of people should gravitate towards.