Exposé Online banner

Emily Bezar — Angels' Abacus
(DemiVox DVX899, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Angels' Abacus Cover artBack in Exposé #20 I gushed about Emily Bezar’s first three albums, and honestly the only negative I can come up with for her new release is the fact that it took so long to arrive. The changes from 1999’s Four Walls Bending are incremental rather than fundamental, but why mess with such a good thing? The two basic ingredients of the music are her powerful voice and piano, and all the embellishments serve as seasonings to those. She has the good sense not to ignore her years of voice training, the good taste to make that impressive technique subservient to her musical vision, and the courage to use her crisp enunciation and warm vibrato regardless of contemporary trends. There is a bit less of her classical-meets-jazz piano here, due to the frequent denseness of the arrangements; there are still moments reserved for piano and voice alone, or nearly alone, as intriguing electronic sounds creep into the interstices of every track. On a few tracks, the electronics condense into rhythmic loops, but this is no knuckling-under to modern fashion — the music is above all uncompromising, relentlessly following an educated, capricious muse to such lengths that Bezar is a genre unto herself. In lesser hands, all this would come off as pretentious, but every note is filled with such honesty that you can’t question her motives. She is not showing off, she is manifesting the music in her head, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Emily Bezar

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Happy Family - "Flying Spirit Dance" Live – It's rare that I'll devote an extensive review to cassette, let alone to a demo cassette - but this band is so special that I feel compelled to sound out their praise far and wide. Happy Family are...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues