Okay, let me start this review with a little bit of bitching. I hate when there are two releases of the same album with slightly different track listings. I have before me, the United States release of One of 18 Angels from Diary of Dreams. And on my monitor, I have a page with the track listing for the European release of the same album. The two are one song different. Grrr! That being said
I cannot say a single bad thing about this album. It is simply brilliant! I had only been introduced to Diary of Dreams approximately a week or two before receiving this CD, so I'm fairly new to Adrian Hates' work. But let me say that I'm on my way to becoming a huge fan. This is music that grasps one gently by the soul and pulls it along through otherworldly realms. It is dark and passionate. Beautifully orchestrated and intelligently written. Driving at times and floating at other. And still at other times quite dismal, but never even approaching dreary.
It is always infused with a sense of life that gives even its slowest tempo songs a certain compelling energy. The perfect balance of instruments and electronics lends a sense of depth and expansiveness that draws the listener in and leaves them not wishing to come back. In addition to being a beautifully recorded album, it's also a beautifully designed one. The cover art and liner notes are well produced and complement the sounds without overshadowing them. Lyrics to all the songs on the CD are provided for those of us who actually like to read along. This is always a plus in my book. Adrian's lyrics read like poetry and truly show his intelligence as much as the music conveys his passion.
Standout tracks on this album are the dancefloor friendly Chemicals and the more orchestral yet still lively Now This is Human. The only wish I could have had for this album is that it would not have ended with its slowest, most melancholy track. This song, Dead Souls Dreaming, is a wonderful song. But it ends the entire experience of One of 18 Angels at its least energetic. It seems that with the driving life of this overall work, ending with a track like this almost gives the feeling of it dying at the end. Perhaps this was done on purpose as part of the intended concept of the album. I cannot say. But what I can say is that it makes me keep the disc on repeat so I can get right back into the drive of the rest of the music.
This is another one of those CDs that I put in and realize hours later that I'm still listening to. Emotionally charged and never boring, One of 18 Angels is an album that should be in everyone's collection. Run out and pick up this CD. Do it now.
Post: Diary of Dreams/Accession Rec. , Postfach, 110614 40506, Dusseldorf , Germany