Going back through my Alt Revue history, Brijean has appeared in more reviews, articles, and essays than Phish or Radiohead. In my world, that is a huge accomplishment and compliment. The West Coast duo has impacted my life, so when I heard they are releasing a new album, I jumped at the opportunity to listen.
Before looking at my email, I thought of creative ways to approach this review. What if I’m a Henry DeTamble, and I time travel to 2022, hear Angelo, and think I’m back in the late 1970s/early 1980s? Or perhaps, I am an early twenty-some whose love of Brijean helps me connect with an older family member that opens up when they hear the album. Brijean’s sexy, ethereal voice and Doug Stuart’s bubble bass, syrupy guitar, and deep-water synth sound are the catalysts for a same wavelength conversation between two bullheaded people. Yet, it all seemed so forced, like I was trying too hard. Then I listened to the album and read the press release.
Like Feelings, Angelo is a journey. However, instead of a beach, this one starts with them on tour, searching for the club. When they find it, “Take a Trip” and “Shy Guy” transports us there. Close your eyes, feel the cool air of the venue, take in the aromas, and slip into the groove of the rhythm. Let Brijean’s voice wrap you like an extra plush sherpa throw blanket. Linger there as long as possible because, before you know it, Angelo carries them away.
My wife and I follow the duo to the next show. Along the way, “Angelo” keeps us going, dancing as our car floats down rainbow highway. High hats, strings, a pulsing beat, and that Doug Stuart bass carry us to the next venue and “Ooo La La.” With a different crowd around us, we are back in that New Age Disco Brijean sound. I absorb it, allowing it to take me to another world, free of stress and the pressures of daily life.
“Colors” is that stage after you leave a show and you are still tingling. You want the feeling to last forever, but you know it won’t. The comedown is “Where Do We Go?” It causes searching. You question the future and the past. Then the reflection hits hard. “Caldwell’s Way” is that moment when you have to face the reality of life, the good and the bad. Scratch that. It’s not one or the other, not black or white. Reality is colorful and full of emotions. It is dreaming of the future, accepting the present, and seeing “Nostalgia” for what it is, a beautifully distorted postcard from the past.
Final Thought: I love Brijean because the duo shares themselves musically as all artists should. Like Feelings, Angelo is genuine and from the heart, which adds to its allure.
Favorite Songs: “Take A Trip,” “Ooo La La,” and “Where Do We Go?”
Rating - 5 out of 5 (No argument necessary)