All Angels: Fly Away (Album)

Review Material Supplied By Zavvi.com

Review Material Supplied By Zavvi.com

Four beautiful ladies, with four beautiful voices. Is anyone jealous yet? On a more serious note, classical crossover as a musical genre is nothing new, but I’ve not heard anyone sing it quite like these ladies before. Daisy, Laura, Melanie, and Charlotte released their third album, ‘Fly Away’ in 2009, which is packed full of classical pieces, pop songs, folk tunes, and even a guest appearance from a Gospel Choir. They seem to be exploring all their genre has to offer, and with names like Bob Dylan, Stephen Sondheim, James Horner, and George Gershwin on the writing credits, they have some great material to work with.

After listening to the album, I would immediately give kudos to the people who have arranged the music and vocals on this record, as they have done a first class job. I think all the arrangements blend really well together, and create just the right depth of atmosphere and emotion for each song. The one thing I would say, is that due to the nature of the pieces the group are singing, and their wide vocal range, at times the sound, or at least the ends of the notes, can be a little sharp, and this distracts a little from the lyrical story. The album begins quite simply, with the track ‘I’ll Fly Away’, a standout on the album, thanks to the interesting addition of Harlem Gospel Choir as vocalists. This is swiftly followed by one of my album highlights, a cover of the Bob Dylan song ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’. This is a quite moving, soulful take on the track, and would be worthy of a movie soundtrack. It’s also a fine illustration of how well the group can harmonise together, which is very important in this genre of music. Another favourite of mine was the recognisable ballad, ‘Send In The Clowns’, which was treated with the softest vocal touch, and just the right level of emotion. I must also mention ‘Somewhere’, which All Angels have put their own stamp on, in an outstanding way. Although of course it’s easier to comment on, and relate to the songs you know, I did enjoy the less familiar tracks on this album, such as the haunting ‘Black Is The Colour Of My True Loves Hair’, and also final track ‘Sleep’. I enjoyed the contrast here between crooning lullaby, and the slightly fearful moods encompassed in lyrics like ‘frightening shadow/flickering light’. The album also features a cover of the Norah Jones hit ‘Come Away With Me’, which suited their voices really well, and the foreign language track, ‘Cucurrucucu Paloma’. Although I didn’t understand the song, the intonation and pronunciation of the words was impressive.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say that All Angels have a lot of vocal talent, and although I prefer the softer side of their vocal range, I did enjoy hearing them sing. They have a good mix of popular, traditional, and spiritual songs here, I just couldn’t help wondering what they’d sound like singing something more lively. Maybe one day my curiosity will be satisfied, but in the meantime, I’d suggest checking All Angels out for yourself, you never know, you might just like them!

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