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Album Review: Angus Stone - Broken Brights

6 July 2012 | 4:47 pm | Lucia Osborne Crowley

Broken Brights is not quite what you might expect, with an overpowering country-folk feel and a less conventional instrumental arrangement than the singer is known for.

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Angus Stone's solo record, Broken Brights, is not quite what you might expect, with an overpowering country-folk feel and a less conventional instrumental arrangement than the singer is known for. The collection of songs is, however, marked by a distinct lack of variation in overall tone and intensity and at times feels slightly haphazard, as though its elements haven't quite fallen together correctly.

River Love opens with a calming guitar melody and Stone's clear, strong voice dominating the track; however its structure and lyrical content are fairly simplistic. The title track however is melodic and insightful, with incredibly satisfying understated vocal lines and a strong, infectious rhythm. The Blue Door has a distinct blues-country feel, with more sophisticated lyrical content than the record's other tracks and is intriguing in its experimentation with genre. The smooth clarity of Stone's voice that has brought him success in the past is properly showcased in the simple but charming The Wolf And The Butler. It Was Blue provides an interesting change of tone with its deep vocals and raw, heavy guitar melodies, displaying the singer's impressive vocal range.

One of the record's standouts is undoubtedly Be What You Be, which boasts an exciting rhythm, a smooth catchy melody and unique, quirky vocals that make it stand out from the other tracks. This is followed by Clouds Above, which is similarly complex and sophisticated in its vocal, lyrical and instrumental content. End Of The World is a powerful closer, with slow guitar melodies, an impressive rhythm and strong vocals. Overall, the album certainly displays Stone's incredible talent for vocal dexterity and composition, but does feel somewhat unsteady at times.