German vocalist Claudia Uhle is the solely responsible for Angelzoom; an ethereal, airy sound that narrowly avoids classification.
Angelzoom runs with the dark wave crowd such as The Dresdon Dolls, L’Áme Immortelle and The Birthday Massacre, but this is kind of misleading. As much as some may put her next to dark wave artists, I would sooner slot her in with Enya. Her sound is electronic with dark synths in same manner as The Birthday Massacre, but any rock or punk is absent, very vaguely rearing its head in the “heaviest” tracks of the album ‘Turn the Sky’ and ‘Fairyland’ (though heavy is really the wrong word). Bar those two songs, the rest of the album quietly goes into Enya territory with pretty little instrumentals and twinkly songs.
As it is, there is not really a bad track on here. Angelzoom’s cover of Linkin Park’s “Crawling” might leave a bitter taste in the mouth, but other covers, such as Depeche Mode’s “Blaspehmous Rumours” is nothing short of glorious if you appreciate the albums purpose. Angelzoom does not build tracks up like any other artist on the planet; the first verse of any of the songs has the same tone and volume as the finishing chorus which can make some tracks seem repetitive, and have the listener wonder where she’s going. She is not going anywhere. This album leans more towards chill out and new age, rather than making artistic sounds and sending out a message. It is laid back from beginning to end.
Uhle’s vocal delivery is very pretty (a light soprano), but not much else. It is almost as if she does not know the meaning of lyrics she sings, as the vocals are soulless. This is most evident in ‘Crawling’ where she does not convey any kinds of anguish or pain whatsoever; she might as well be singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. Also, English is not her first language, and her diction is rather off-putting (think Tarja Turunen), but all tracks but one are in English.
Vocalist Claudia Uhle is responsible for Angelzoom
There are four instrumentals on this album. All very pretty and calm, especially ‘Peace of Mind’, but they are all achieved with synths and electronics. They are all a merit to her, but they may not stand out for most listeners. There is a beautiful Christmas song towards the end of the album ‘Christmas Dreams’. Although not a Christmas album, the album does seem to have a Christmassy on a wintery feel to it, especially with the instrumentals. You’ll also find a variety of male guest vocalists which makes some songs very reminiscent of L’Áme Immortelle (think ‘Back in the Moment’ and ‘Into My Arms’)
Stand out tracks include ‘Turn the Sky’, ‘Back in the Moment’, ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ and ‘Fairyland’. For Enya enthusiasts the standout tracks maybe different; such as ‘Otium’, ‘Falling Leaves’, ‘Guardian Angel’, ‘Newborn Sun’, ‘Christmas Dreams’ and ‘Peace of Mind’.
There are some weak tracks on here. Whilst ‘Crawling’ would be anticipated by listeners, as it is quite a good song for adaptation, it does not work, but there’s also ‘Lights’, and ‘Into My Arms’ (though L’Áme Immortelle fans might love it). Although weaker, they are still listenable.
Ultimately, this is an album to chill out too. To play it from beginning to end, most suitably next to a warm fire on a winter’s night. I would recommend this to dark wave fans, but it will not be the stand out album of the year for you. I think Enya/Enigma fans will appreciate this perhaps a little bit more. I think it is a beautiful album overall, and is successful in doing what it set out to do; just do not expect anything innovative or inspiring here.
Here is the tracklisting:
1. Turn the Sky (feat. Apocalyptica)
2. Back in the Moment (feat. Joachim Witt)
3. Blasphemous Rumours
5. Falling Leaves
6. Guardian Angel
8. Bouncing Shadows
10. Dream in a Church (feat. Letzte Instanz)
12. Newborn Sun (feat. Milu/Mila Mar)
13. Into My Arms (feat. Roedernallee)
14. Christmas Dreams
15. Peace of Mind (contains hidden instrumental)