James Angell

James Angell: Pandemic Symphony

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Artist: James Angell

Artist: James Angell
Title: Pandemic Symphony

Vocalist, Pianist and Native Portlander, James Angell Releases The Epic Follow-Up to 2003's 'Private Player' With His New Album 'The Pandemic Symphony'. James Angell brings in 2011 with his monumental undertaking the album 'The Pandemic Symphony'. Angell's latest vision was a nearly 6-year crusade, bringing a world-class production to the ears of his Portland, Oregon audience and beyond. Angell is no stranger to the Portland music scene playing and touring both locally and nationally for 25 years, carrying with him some of the most original heartfelt lyrics and soul-stirring music to be heard. During his time fronting Portland legends Neros Rome the band was courted by major labels such as Island, MCA, Capital and Mercury the last two offering a coveted five-album deal. Thanks to label takeovers all the offers ended up DOA. Motivated by frustration he retreated to his cabin in the woods and soon emerged with an album, a diary of fatherhood and marriage titled "Private Player". The New York Times gushed '...Angell returns with an album of ambitious orchestral psychedelia. Private Player, that's earned justifiable comparisons to the hallmark of the genre, Love's 'Forever Changes.' The album also garnered rave reviews from the likes of David Bowie, Paul McCartney and bassist John Taylor of Duran Duran who was to later join his band. "This is the most honest music I have ever heard" mused Mr. Taylor. He went on, performing with Angell's all-star lineup two sold-out shows in Portland. One at The Crystal Ballroom the other at the at the Alladin Theater. Bowie even went so far as offering to personally sign him to his label ISO over over a phone call to Angell's residence. The conversation ended with 'We will pick this up in two weeks where we have left off, when I'm back from tour'. Angell counted the seconds, minutes, days and finally weeks. Silence. Undeterred by the phone call that was to never come, Angell once again took matters into his own hands. Between day jobs and tribulations he created an album of ear-candy with baroque depth, a stellar recording that could still be brought into the live forum of the stage. "The Pandemic Symphony" was tracked everywhere from the family kitchen to the woods of upstate New York where it was to be finally mixed. It all begins with the trenchant-juggernaut 'I Followed Myself To NYC', a frenzied search for lost loved ones. Hot on it's heels is the range-pounding rhythm of saloon house rouser 'The Horse No One Can Ride' in which you can practically smell the horse shit, cheap perfume, then finally falling head-first into the whiskey-soaked skid marks on the barroom floor. Surging forward the album continues with 'James of the Trees'. One listens as the lush rainforest turns to scorched Earth. Ratcheting down into one of Angell's specialties, the delivery of sad yet strangely uplifting melodies, he recalls for you first hand the experience of musician as world-weary traveler in "The Cost Of Art". "The Ballad of Liz and Richard" tells a story of love and war fought while swimming against the undertow of booze-fueled romance. Angell soon brings the chemistry to a sexual boil with the slinky funk of 'Good Girl' and 'Margot Please'. Curveballs are soon thrown with the suspension of time frozen in the epic 'Iceman'. One ascends to the spirit plane accompanied by Tibetan-like chants and rave up Motown vocals. The album concludes with a sea-shanty 'Mansion Of Happiness'. It speaks of the patience required in pursuing a no-compromise artistic vision, yet eventually winning the golden ticket, both metaphorically and literally. James is not alone in this victory, the audience also gets to cash in, sharing with him the prize.

1.1 I Followed Myself to NYC
1.2 The Ballad of Liz and Richard
1.3 Hiding in Plain Sight
1.4 Good Girl
1.5 Goodnight Goodbye
1.6 James of the Trees
1.7 The Cost of Art
1.8 The Horse No One Can Ride
1.9 Margot Please
1.10 Iceman
1.11 Mansion of Happiness

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