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Old Sounds - Wingless Angels

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  • Old Sounds - Wingless Angels

    Vue Weekly

    Originally released: 1997 Keith Richards, after year upon year of chiseling away at his sound and songwriting within the Rolling Stones, is pretty much synonymous with songs that tell their stories through chordal riffs—tracks like “Satisfaction, “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Start Me Up” are as good as any if you’re looking for songs that define what Richards can do with a guitar.


    
Even Richards’ solo material follows the same path, too, with chords swirling around the drums, carving songs out of the air around them. But every now and then it seems that the oldest of rock ‘n’ roll’s pirate kings can pull out something to surprise listeners.This self-titled record by Wingless Angels is most definitely not a Richards album, yet the man is all over the music, with guitar, piano and vocals. The album has its roots as far back as 1972 when the Stones recorded Goats Head Soup in Kingston, Jamaica, leading to Richards falling in love with the country and buying a home there.

    It was at Richards’ home—in his backyard, in fact—that he recorded the musicians who make up Wingless Angels, initially capturing the songs sometime in the early-’90s and then working away at adding guitars and fiddles to the mix over the next few years.

    Despite the potential for disaster when overdubbing on top of a spontaneous base, Richards shows real restraint in what and how he adds to the songs of Nyabinghi Rastafarian chanting and drumming; the instruments are just barely there, never intruding and always supporting.

    The recording itself sounds effortless, with the sounds of the Jamaican forest—birds and frogs and the like—creeping into the songs and filling empty spaces, while Richards and the musicians exchange jokes and share in the laughter between tracks.

    While Richards has demonstrated plenty of love for reggae over the years, integrating the sound into a good number of Stones’ tracks and his own solo material, along with guest spots alongside Toots Hibbert (“Careless Ethiopians” and “Pressure Drop”) and the late Peter Tosh (“Bush Doctor” and “Stand Firm”), it’s still absolutely impressive how well he blends into the mix of musicians on this album.

    Known primarily for his guitar playing, Richards voice is integral—and perfectly suited—for

    The highlights here are many and frequent, as the musicians pull out songs both familiar (“Rivers of Babylon,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1972’s The Harder They Come and has been recorded by everyone from Steve Earle to Boney M) and lesser known (the gently rolling “Ring Out Mt Zion Bells”).

    At just over an hour in length, Wingless Angels is a musical journey that’s relaxing and inspiring—the common thread here being the uplifting nature of the recording—and one that is well worth the time to close your eyes and take the trip.

    Posted by: WebCrew
WebCrew's picture
on August 07, 2008

Vue Weekly

Originally released: 1997 Keith Richards, after year upon year of chiseling away at his sound and songwriting within the Rolling Stones, is pretty much synonymous with songs that tell their stories through chordal riffs—tracks like “Satisfaction, “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Start Me Up” are as good as any if you’re looking for songs that define what Richards can do with a guitar.



Even Richards’ solo material follows the same path, too, with chords swirling around the drums, carving songs out of the air around them. But every now and then it seems that the oldest of rock ‘n’ roll’s pirate kings can pull out something to surprise listeners.This self-titled record by Wingless Angels is most definitely not a Richards album, yet the man is all over the music, with guitar, piano and vocals. The album has its roots as far back as 1972 when the Stones recorded Goats Head Soup in Kingston, Jamaica, leading to Richards falling in love with the country and buying a home there.

It was at Richards’ home—in his backyard, in fact—that he recorded the musicians who make up Wingless Angels, initially capturing the songs sometime in the early-’90s and then working away at adding guitars and fiddles to the mix over the next few years.

Despite the potential for disaster when overdubbing on top of a spontaneous base, Richards shows real restraint in what and how he adds to the songs of Nyabinghi Rastafarian chanting and drumming; the instruments are just barely there, never intruding and always supporting.

The recording itself sounds effortless, with the sounds of the Jamaican forest—birds and frogs and the like—creeping into the songs and filling empty spaces, while Richards and the musicians exchange jokes and share in the laughter between tracks.

While Richards has demonstrated plenty of love for reggae over the years, integrating the sound into a good number of Stones’ tracks and his own solo material, along with guest spots alongside Toots Hibbert (“Careless Ethiopians” and “Pressure Drop”) and the late Peter Tosh (“Bush Doctor” and “Stand Firm”), it’s still absolutely impressive how well he blends into the mix of musicians on this album.

Known primarily for his guitar playing, Richards voice is integral—and perfectly suited—for

The highlights here are many and frequent, as the musicians pull out songs both familiar (“Rivers of Babylon,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1972’s The Harder They Come and has been recorded by everyone from Steve Earle to Boney M) and lesser known (the gently rolling “Ring Out Mt Zion Bells”).

At just over an hour in length, Wingless Angels is a musical journey that’s relaxing and inspiring—the common thread here being the uplifting nature of the recording—and one that is well worth the time to close your eyes and take the trip.

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