Dec 15, 2012

My 2012: Angus Stone - Broken Brights

Genre: Indie folk pop

Broken Brights generally feels laid-back even in its rockier electric moments. Its easy-on-the-ear rhythms call up Dire Straits, while Stone’s sporadic distorted guitar solos evoke Neil Young in his Crazy Horse era, especially on songs like “Bird On A Buffalo” and “Only A Woman”. It’s hard not to admire his skill as Stone adds brightness and color to even his downbeat tales. On “The Blue Door”, tremolo guitar and flute mirror the cautionary lyrics with Western ambience, and he sprinkles tiny sound effects over the guitar-woven space oddity “Apprentice Of The Rocket Man”.

Touches like these lift Broken Brights above the mundane, as Stone demonstrates production skills worthy of an addition to his resume. Superficially, this album could be filed as “easy listening”; and to some extent, it is. But it redeems itself by demanding careful listening: There’s always something unexpected around the corner.

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