The last CD I was asked to review for SoundtrackNet was a pop musician's compilation of songs for the film Magnolia. The artist was Aimee Mann. Her tone is often intimate, introspective and, dare I say, a bit of a downer. (It's a wonderful soundtrack! Check it out if you haven't already.) Anyway, here I am reviewing another pop act's collection of material recorded for film. Again, the voice is comprised of a contemplative female tone (Angela McCluskey) and the music, like the independent films it's culled from, is very intimate, organic and revealing. The act? The band The Wild Colonials.
If you're not familiar with the Wild Colonials, become so immediately. McCluskey's voice has been a (pop) favorite of mine since I stumbled across one of the band's shows at the Troubadour three or four years ago. Her tricks and colors range from twang to pop to blues to rock - and everything in between - all the while keeping a bit of her Scottish (I hope that's right, Angela) roots in the tone. Which brings me to the rest of the band. Wow! What a variety in sounds. Talented multi-instrumentalists - Shark (guitars, vox, percussion), Paul Cantelon (violin, piano, keys, accordion), Scott Roewe (bass, keys, organ, sax, didgeridoo!!!, etc., etc.) and Thaddeus Corea (I believe Chick's son - drums, percussion, vox) - the band behind Angela is one to be reckoned with. These guys can flavor their music with so many spices: a Dixieland bluesy turn on Anything But Love (featuring Dr. John); a sleepy twist on "It's Not Unusual" (echoes of the Cowboy Junkies here - not a bad thing!); straight-ahead pop on "This Misery".
But that's not the half of it! The collection features tunes by band member's side projects as well. One highlight is the beautiful "The Battle Won" performed by Tryptich, Cantelon's subsidiary trio, on which he plays a well voice-led piano. This guy knows his harmony. With 15 tunes in all, including a range of previously unreleased tracks, you really can't go wrong with this disc. In all, the band has been involved in twenty-four different film projects. Twenty-four movies well served by the decision to include this talent.
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