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of Angels (EP)
Artist: Joel C. Bennett
Formerly of Chicago band Blue Shade Witness, Joel C. Bennett is now based in Los Angeles, hence the title of his new EP, _City of Angels_. While this album bears little resemblance to the rock sound of Blue Shade Witness, the seven songs here may establish that Joel Bennett still knows how to scream, but can do it with a whisper.
"It's Easy (Goodbye)" is folk pop, as if Elliott Smith and Robert Pollard had recorded together. "The Breaks" is old school acoustic rock, and looks toward the Resurrection while struggling to deal with everyday life – picture Mitch McVicker with a deeper voice. "City of Angels" is one of those classic "works on two levels" songs – is the author longing for LA, or for Heaven? And how will he be changed if he gets there?
"Do It Yourself" longs for actions, rather than words and waiting for others to get things done. "Oh My Lord" is an Elvis Costello meets Nate Houge tune that is a cry for help in the midst of frustration. City of Angels contrasts Los Angeles with the real City of Angels, and does so without condemning the former. Good stuff here.
Brian A. Smith