CD on Inner Ear Records.
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10/10 Cracked 27th December 2007
There are certain things that will never fade, that won’t ever give in and that won’t ever lose their importance. There are some things that have grounded themselves so deeply in the collective minds of the people, or at least a part of people, that they are visible and tangible almost by instinct as soon as the senses set themselves to them. A female singing voice over a driving beat is one of those things. A fascinating voice, deep and sensual at the same time as it is angelic and uplifting. A voice that is able to vibrate on inside the listeners brain and body like a real wave of energy.
Another things is the everlasting power of the pop-song, a power that works by slowly and gently creeping into the mind and re-arranging mindsets and emotions there. A song that makes you feel good before you even realize that you hear it. A song like “Clown” on the second album by the pop-band Abbie Gale. Or one that glistens and glimmers with eternal shine and polish, like the sparkling moonlight on the nightly waves of the ocean, like the opener “Life after Life”. Or the pounding wall of driving guitars and forceful rhythm section that is “Wanted”.
Two thing are obvious from this introduction. The first is that Abbie Gale is obviously not your average pop band that pops up at every corner in every nation of the world. Bands that consist of some people who know each other by chance or by having grown up together and who form a band for no other reason than finding no better way to channel their creativity. Yesterday evening I heard the hostess of a show on the Austrian alternative state-owned radio say, that if she “hears something special”, the least she can do is to play it on the radio. I neither remember the name of the band nor the name of the song, because there was nothing special to be heard. But I hear something special on this album on every corner. Not in the arrangements and not in the lyrics and not in the basic set up, but in the final mix of sounds, the way parts of the songs flow into each other organically, probably it is just a matter of attitude and a will to perfection.
The songwriting and arrangement abilities of Salvatore, probably the main mind behind Abbie Gale, for instance make him drive a song to its climax (like “Gone”) and then, where every other producer would have put in a pause of a second only to give the listener another round of the refrain, the song just stops. And the next song on the album is a wonderful, slow song with dreamy chords and introspective singing of Evira, the singer I praised so much above, and when she goes “so take me home / take me into your arms / let me see your world” you think, yes, okay, let’s go. And suddenly your world starts to look a lot better and warmer than it did before.
The other thing is that “2” is by all means an album with a lot of variety, though on the surface it contains the same sound in every song. But there is enough in the mix to keep you entertained – which in itself is probably a wrong thought, because wherever has it been written down that being kept entertained is the ultimate goal in life? Or that any kind of music should be entertaining at all? – and most of all in the melodies themselves. Anybody knows the story, if you have found something good then even the slightest or smallest variations keep you entertained. There is also the flow of the songs, that are always changing and building up to climaxes like arches in ancient architecture or the eternal flow off ebb and tide. Only the first and the last song, “Life after life” and “Danko” respectively , somewhat fall put of this order, by being fundamentally different.
Almost all of the songs by Abbie Gale are about love, about the wonderful moment when a new world opens, when your heart and mind are flooded with new and exciting wonders and experiences. Falling and staying in love – even the most cynic and grumpy old men (like me!) sometimes has to admit that these are the main things in live. You can find it here concentrated into some simple lines of lyrics all over, but probably best of all in a song simply called “Lovesong” and its climaxing line of “Oh God please make this moment last.”
By all means, Abbie Gale should be playing big festivals this next summer, they should be on the cover of all major alternative rock magazines, they should be able to send their sounds to the interested world. Songs like “Air” should be able to blow away all the crap that has been released with lots of money and big marketing budgets. This record is a lot like falling in love either for new or all over again, and it could never be better than that, right? How much joy and excitement such an inconspicious package may bring. It makes all the hastle and pain seemworthwhile. By the way, Abbie Gale are from Greece, but does it really matter in the universal world of pop music?
The first release on the newly formed Inner Ear label. 2 is the appropriately titled second full-length release from Greece's Abbie Gale. Packaged in a beautifully designed tri-fold digipak sleeve (complete with lyric insert and inner album sleeve that recalls vintage vinyl), 2 is an intoxicating spin that is strangely appealing and perplexing. The folks in this band record complex progressive pop with the main focus being the vocals of Evira...a young lady with a remarkably focused style of singing. While these songs do fall within the category of twenty-first century progressive pop, we are damned if we can come up with comparisons and/or possible influences. Perhaps because of the band's geographic location, their music seems to stand squarely inside its own little universe. Some of the compositions here are straightaway pop...while others are more obtuse and less obvious. Be forewarned...you have to listen to this one a few times to 'get it.' But not to worry, it is time well spent. Cool tracks that resonate include 'Life After Life,' 'Clown,' 'Over the Wall,' and 'Danko.' Cool stuff, slightly exotic...
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