Angelica – All I Am (Frontiers Music)

Wednesday, 18th November 2020
Rating: 7.5/10

Best known for her work in the cinematic/modern metal act The Murder of My Sweet, vocalist Angelica Rylin also enjoys singing melodic rock/AOR-oriented material. Her first solo album Thrive hit the streets in 2013, and seven years later we have the follow-up in All I Am. Entrusting fellow bandmate Daniel Flores to be the producer, keyboardist, and drummer as well as curate the best material for Angelica, other musicians such as bassist/guitarist Michael Palace and acoustic guitars/string work by Pedro Cecar Camargo round out the musical end of things. Considering the gap between records, these eleven songs appear to have a bit more of a modern, electronic aspect while still being very catchy, melodic, and setting Angelica up in the past way possible for her rich, vibrant delivery.

The keyboard and drumming work possesses hypnotic, circular grooves and hooks that weave in, out, and around Angelica’s voice – soaring to the heavens in that Euro-pop comfort zone for “Beat Them All” while maintaining some calmer midrange serenity during the Richard Marx-like “Still Bleeding”. Classic melodic rock aspects come up in the alluring background vocals and stunted acoustic/electric guitar combinations for “Time and Space”, and the personalized rags to riches storyline for “Living on High Hopes” should resonate well for those who need that aural boost a la Heart or Journey. The track listing flows well, including a couple of remarkable ballads where Angelica can stretch a bit in the lower register for verses and shine during the brighter choruses – check into “I’m Sorry” and “Angel” for two different styles, one more piano-led and the other leaning towards Nashville territory. The record differs from her debut because of the programming, keyboard tones, and overall modern outlook to this material – it’s still very catchy, but just isn’t in a straightforward 80’s AOR vein as previous work.

All I Am allows Angelica to explore her love of other genres, and it can be a nice diversion from your heavier playlists when needed.

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