Tuesday, 5 May 2009

4or The Record Archangel review "Pretty damn good"

"Three things that fall firmly under the header of ‘risky’ when it comes to embarking upon a career as a solo recording artist:

1. Assuming a nom-de-plume.
2. Playing every instrument on the record, then producing the thing
3. Admitting said record is heavily influenced by Steely Dan

Well, in the release of ‘Do It Again’ by Archangel, the less emphatically named Nick Webber takes a bite out of risk and spits it right out as he displays his obvious talent for pretty much all elements of music.

This debut single is a straight-forward sub-three-minute pop-punk song but it plays like something more – like a preview to the main event, the foreword to a wider story. Indeed it’s perhaps the press release that comes with the single that entices me more than this song itself and I suppose that’s what press releases are meant to do, but I can’t help but feel that Archangels' album when released will be fascinating.

Back to the song itself and the backbone is a very simple drum and vocal combination that builds theatrically into an a-typical pop chorus, complete with catchy hook and easy-to-remember words. I’m told by the accompanying paperwork that Nick Webber spent 18 months writing this record in Wiltshire and it wouldn’t surprise me if I were to learn he spent much of that time reading books on the elements of pop music structure one should perfect. He’s not perfected it yet, but the potential is there. Influences are easy to pick up in the music but that’s not to say they’re one dimensional, ranging from the more obvious protagonists of 80’s pop to the digi-sounds of Daft Punk.

All in all this single promises plenty and it’s support track,‘Odysseus’, follows suit, suggestive of being the product of an artist with so many ideas waiting to be transferred into song. The question will be whether Archangel can channel his obvious talents onto a full-length offering whilst still allowing his record to remain as accessible as this single is. If he can stick to this formula, a winning one, and add the more complex twists that distinguish the good artists from the great, he’s a big future on the horizon.

As debut offerings come this is pretty damn good, and so it comes as no surprise that I suggest you buy it on May 11th. As the man behindArchangel says himself; “Fuck it, why not?”

Click here to read the full review on 4or The Record