Angela Desveaux - The Mighty Ship (Thrill Jockey)

Lisa Norman | Thursday, 11 September 2008

Angela Desveaux - The Mighty Ship (Thrill Jockey)

Embarking on her sophomore album, Montreal-born Desveaux takes the opportunity to show how much she has grown in her two year absence. Her calming, enchanting vocals draw the listener in from the off capturing the ears in an incomparable way. Her 2006 debut album Wandering Eyes stood out from the crowded arena of country tracks, giving her much to contend with on her second release. First influenced by country greats like Lucinda Williams, she now focuses on inspiration from Chrissie Hynde and Neil Young.

Her style focuses on storytelling and lyrical influence rather than over the top production. Desveaux shows a newly developed confidence in her own abilities as a songwriter and a bandleader, making her even more irresistible. The album mixes alt-country with indie rock and contemporary beats.

The Mighty Ship is a beautiful collection of emotive and compassionate tracks. The melodies are a perfect compliment to the artist making her vocals sound harmonic and hypnotic. Desveaux shows herself as a true raw talent that cannot be compromised; in fact, time has transformed her into a mature and able singer/songwriter.

The title track is the stand out number, borrowing its title from a traditional folk ballad about the Titanic. It also refers to Desveaux's grandmother, who sadly lost her husband at sea. This empathic track echoes the sound of maritime deities around the docks and shores. 'Other Side' is a slow but catchy track capturing the melodic electric guitar with soft, soulful vocals. All tracks carry the same beat and rarely pick up to a fast pace, but one or two have a stab at being upbeat. 'Sure Enough' resembles Sheryl Crow's hit 'Soak Up the Sun' and offers a catchy laid back vibe, perfect for those days out in the sun.

The tracks tell of strength found in the face of adversity, including her own affirmation in 'For Design'. Showing strong influences from Californian rock, soft production techniques by Dave Draves (of Kelper and Wooden Stars fame) help frame the piece triumphantly. The album is littered with the harmonic rhythms of the piano, viola, electric guitar mixed with outbursts of horns.

The offering is self assured and full of country flavour, but with enough funky licks to appeal to today's popular culture.

Rating: 4/5