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Track List: 1. Yo 3:31 2. La Princessa 5:00 3. Un Dia 6:37 4. Engel 5:23 5. El Nino 5:15 6. Felices 5:07 7. Una Ionagen 5:15 8. El Pajaro 5:16 9. El Rostro 5:27 10. El Ultimo 5:29 11. Recherdos 2:37 12. Fin 1:19 Solo Pilot: Engel - - varied guitars, electric bass; - varied percussion, xylophone; - varied keyboards; accordion; - varied violins; zither; didgeridoo; - varied flutes, harmonica, melodica, - varied bagpipes, whistle Singing Passengers - - Engel's relatives and friends
Preamble. It's clear that Engel is an artistic pseudonym of the hero of this review, whose full name is Miguel Angel De La Llave Jimenez. With the exception of the album's opening and closing tracks, all the compositions on "Engel" are Angel's dedications to his relatives, friends, etc. Sorry, there isn't any info on how and where the album was recorded (etc) in the CD booklet.
The Album. Accessible, yet, highly original and very tasteful, the music on "Engel" features a lot of different musical directions, and the combinations of them are amazingly diverse and unique. Nevertheless, the predominant stylistics of this album is a blend of Symphonic Art-Rock, Ambient, and, as I suppose, the music of American Indians. (While I can't clearly define the origin of the latter, nevertheless, it in many ways reminds me of the music that the album by Olyam, "Cristal Reveur" is about overall.) What's interesting is that all four of the first tracks on the album and both of its closing tracks are those, the contents of which completely conform to the aforementioned definition. These are Yo, Un Dia, Engel, La Princessa, Resherdos, and Fin (1, 3, 4, 2, 11, & 12 respectively), the first three of which are songs. The first two of these songs feature female vocals, while a singer on the album's title track is a man. On the whole, the music on both of Una Ionagen and El Pajaro (7 & 8) is also about the album's predominant stylistics, which though, is here solidly enriched by elements of Prog-Metal. By the way, the first of the said tracks is the fourth and the last song on the album. Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of all three of the other genre constituents of the music on the previously described tracks is presented on El Nino, El Rostro, and El Ultimo (5, 9, & 10). The remaining track, Felices (6), is the only composition on the album, the contents of which are exclusively of a light symphonic nature. Finally, I'd like to note that Yo and El Rostro (1 & 9) are respectively the most diverse and complex song and instrumental piece on "Engel", and the latter of them, in addition, features the bright tunes of music of the East.
Summary. Indeed, Angel has really used most, if not all, of the instruments that are listed in the CD booklet and are duplicated by me above. The album is not only rich in the parts of a wide variety of different instruments, but also has a very rich sound in general. Which happens not very often within the framework of 'movement' of Solo Pilots. Even though there are some general stylistic similarities between "Engel" and Olyam's > "Cristal Reveur", the hero of this review is in many ways stronger than the latter album. So I understand why, unlike "Cristal Reveur", "Engel" was released by Musea Records itself, and not by its 'ambient' division, "Dreaming". Recommended.
VM: February 19, 2003
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