CD REVIEW: Monique Angele - Monique Angele (EP)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Classical
Weakness: EP Release, Marketability, Winded songs
(TORONTO, CAN) Monique Angele is a unique emerging singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Her self-titled debut EP is a combined style of classical and pop, officially naming it "divine pop." Her versatile style portrays pianistic finesse and soaring vocals. Her plan is to share her unique, not the norm of today, music to listeners and audiences around the world. Her self-titled debut EP was released January 25th 2014 and debut music video for single "Poisonous Touch" April 30th 2014. The songs from the EP range from instrumental complexity and virtuosic vocals to simple and refined moments of bliss. Whether it be about heartbreak, seduction, anger, or lighthearted themes she delivers honest emotions to the listener.
The EP takes flight with the single “Poisonous Touch” a Piano driven intro piece that serves up impassioned vocal feel from Angele meshed with impressive vocal finesse, melodic musical touches against a hooky grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Eyes” downshifts a bit with its hypnotic yet methodical piano/cello driven intro eventually lending itself into an impressive “Gold Standard” classical pop ballad that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Waltz” keeps thing moving in the right direction with its infectious melody, steady flowing vocal delivery, impressive finale, and heartfelt/thought provoking messages. The EP makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid tracks in a row. I would classify this music as Classically based but Alternative Pop, with a dash of Electronic Pop and even Dub, Chill, Ambient Pop on one track inparticular. 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, piano, sporadic electronic beats and well-placed electronic/acoustic based drums, guitar. The musicianship and musical touches from Angele are clearly above the bar. In many ways she’s comparable to a female version of Tori Amos. 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. Angele showcases good control and remarkable power. Her voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with an infectious classical edge. She’s got a good vibrato and impressive Mezzo Soprano. Angele also has an impressive falsetto and has much to offer insofar as power, control and finesse. She also plays Piano/Keyboards. 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 Angele are 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. Angele's music reminds me of a combination between trippy and psychedelic Portishead, and even Adelle. Other comparisons include: The Cardigans, Sophie B. Hawkins. Tori Amos, 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 “Pity” to hypnotic “Touch of a Sign” this EP has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with a bonus track Track 6 “Pity” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
I typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full length CD is the best and most complete snapshot to judge an artists by at any given point in time. I love this classical style and breathtaking performances from Monique, however I’m not sure how marketable this style of music would be when presented to a mass audience. I see artists like Monique Angele more primed for classical stage performances because they are a bit overqualified for the mainstream. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
From start to finish this debut EP from Monique Angel delivers the psychedelic classical mojo and is a fully loaded 6 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 Monique Angel 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 psychedelic-neo-classical mystique is something millions of people should gravitate towards. des