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CD Review: Angela Perley “4:30”

Singer-songwriter Angela Perley grew up in Central Ohio near Columbus. In the city of Hilliard, Perley started playing guitar while in her teens and was in her first band while still in high school. As she moved from one level of education to the next, music was always part of Perley’s life as she joined and created bands. Perley started truly making a name for herself when she was part of the band Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons. After putting out several EP’s of music, Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons released their first album Hey Kid in 2014. That band would release one more album (2016’s Homemade Visions) before Perley would decide to go on her own as a solo artist.

As a solo artist, Angela Perley draws upon the same type of musical blend that she had created while a part of the band Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons: Country, Indie, Rock, and Folk. This blend creates one form of Americana, shifting through the various musical influences from one song to the next. That shifting of genres is a large apart of the music contained within the debut solo release from Angela Perley called 4:30.

The album called 4:30 from Angela Perley begins with the title track of the release. “4:30” finds Perley creating a song about being home for a change and not being able to sleep. The track begins with a rather laidback Folk-inspired feel that brings to mind something from the Sixties music scene. When the track continues, that Folk feel is added to with some easy Rock and Roll influence. The track quickly morphs into an Indie Rock feel which continues until the track ends. With the track “4:30,” Angela Perley draws the listener in right from the start.

Angela Perley’s new release continues with the track “Let Go”. This track leaves the easy feel of the last track far behind. Instead of an easy Folk-Rock blend, this song finds Perley unleashing her inner rock star. While the first track was largely inspired by the likes of Joan Baez or Carole King, “Let Go” draws its inspiration from the likes of Suzi Quatro or Pat Benetar, putting the track somewhere between the Hard Rock of the Eighties and the early days of Alternative Rock. Anyone looking for a good Hard Rockin’ Rock and Roll song, “Let Go” with its strong electric guitars and driving pace to the music will easily satisfy that desire.

Perley continues her 4:30 album with the track “Back in Town”. As the musician had just finished a track with a strong Rock and Roll vibe to it, she continued that direction with another such track in “Back in Town”. Where the previous track falls somewhere between Alternative Rock and Hard Rock of the Eighties, this song takes Perley’s music into a stronger Seventies/Eighties Rock and Roll direction. Falling somewhere between Joan Jett and Lita Fold, “Back in Town” easily would have been right at home on the radio in the Eighties on Power Rock radio formats.

The feel of the music changes again with the next track called “He Rides High”. With this track, Angela Perley creates a more relaxed song with a style and pace of Classic Rock from the late Sixties/early Seventies. This track blends together Rock and Roll, Jazz and some Folk influence. Together, the musical influences of the track seem to recall some of the style of the band The Doors in their less psychedelic stages. On this track, Angela Perley’s voice also contains a similar vocal quality to that of Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane or Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. While this is a new song, the track definitely contains a classic feel to it.

Staying in a rather laidback mood, the next track of “Don’t Look Back Mary” slows the pace of the music down. While “He Rides High” already contains a relaxed feel, with “Don’t Look Back Mary,” the slow pace of the music intensifies. Folk Rock and a hint of Country influence combine to create a track that appears to have a little pain in the lyrical content as the title character of Mary seems to have a hard time letting go of the past and moving on. The slow pace to the song and that lyrical content combine to create one of the most emotional tracks on the release.

After several slow-paced tracks, Angela Perley brings some of the energy back to her music on the track “Dangerous Love”. This track has a strong Pop-Rock feel to the music, creating a rather timeless feel to the music. The song brings to mind female Rock stars from the Eighties, such as Eighties-era Madonna or even The Bangles. In fact, you could imagine this track being played right after a track such as “If She Knew What She Wants” from Susanna Hoffs and the rest of the band. “Dangerous Love” is one of the most commercial tracks on the 4:30 album from Angela Perley.

“Walk With Me,” the final track of Angela Perley’s solo debut finds Perley bringing back a little of the Sixties flavor that had been found on the song “He Rides High”. Again, with this track, Perley seems to be drawing influence from Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane. The wah-wah pedal near the end of the track adds a nice retro feel to the song. The retro feel to the Rock and Roll on this track adds a nice amount of energy to the end of the release, and brings the album called 4:30 to a close on an energetic note.

4:30 from Angela Perley is an album with many different angles as the singer-songwriter and musician draws inspiration from many different artists and eras. That ever-changing direction creates a release that may very well find a rather diverse audience.  

 

To experience some of the music from Angela Perley, check out the song “Let Go”. 

To hear the entire 4:30 release from Angela Perley, click on the album cover below: