Telepopmusik - Angel Milk

2006-03-30 02:41

Six parts electronica, four parts synth pop, this french group shares fans with fellow French group Air, producing delicately flavoured euro cheese with a whistful air to it. It's rainy day music. It's a sonic meringue.

A dreamlike short story in the liner notes and the panda suit trumpeter on the front cover give some clues as to the dislocated mood of the music.

Featuring vocals by Angela McCluskey, Mau, and new member Deborah Anderson, Angel Milk reintroduces the outfit on top form. Their slow melodies are soaked in layers of sound, and decorated by highly produced baroque twiddles. McCluskey (whose solo album The Things We Do is an overlooked gem) adds her sore throaty cream sound to "Don't Look Back", the promising opening track.

It's not all good, though. Downbeat cliches mar tracks such as "Anyway", which meanders mournfully, the vocals sounding like they're sung down a long distance telephone line, with distant tones evoking a braindead drug comedown mood. Like A lot of chillout music it has the unfortunate effect of being more alienating than calming.

Overall, this is a pleasantly overcast record. Stylish without being completely forgettable, the songs wash over you - without big swells of emotion, or huge highs and lows. Well, mostly. The daringly jazzy, tragically romantic "Love's Almighty", on which Angela McCluskey proves that the spirit of Tom Waits' early work is not dead, takes it to another level. It's is the high point of the album.

Telepopmusik's tasteful mixing of Tibetan Bowls, Fleugal horn, Xylaphone sounds and some unidentifiable sounds gently pushes you just over your musical borders. And cognitive borders too - one of their songs is called "Hollywood on my toothpaste". Figure that one out, and you win a prize.

- Jean Barker


"...similar downbeat style, and is generally a pleasant listen, even if over the space of the 15 tracks on offer it starts to feel a little too similar."
- Mike Whyte for Release Magazine

They quickly became trendy in Europe, then rose through the charts with "Breathe" after it became the soundtrack for a car ad. An American tour followed, and with it, international fame on the dance / electronica scene.

Cobus van Deventer 2005/09/11 10:44 AM
Angel Milk This CD is Frot
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