Album Review: Angel – About Time
In the years leading him toward the release of his debut album, Angel has been busy penning hits for fellow hip-hop successes including Roll Deep (Greenlight) and Pixie Lott and Jason Derulo (Coming Home). While success as a songwriter has been generous to the musician, helping launch the careers of others must be a rewarding yet difficult task, especially if you want to bask in fames spotlight yourself.
Hailing from West London, Angel has tapped into and single-handedly rejuvenated a market that has been left starved of credibility for quite some time. Perhaps Britain’s answer to the likes of Chris Brown and Ne-Yo, Angel drips of both the unique and commercial appeal required for a rising artist to hit the mainstream jack-pot and an appeal that is dotted throughout Angel’s fantastic debut offering, About Time.
With Blown Away we are guided through a radio friendly and instrumentally bustling number that is rich in retro flavors. Featuring the slick rap lickings of WizKid, the semi-Island glazed number is a notable inclusion within the opening half of About Time with its soothing vocal arrangement and busy yet unintimidating genre blending.
The World is the latest track to be offered as a single from the album and is a highlight found on the collection here. Its obvious club-feel opens the door to a wider audience as Angel’s swooping vocals ignite an international star in the making.
Further into About Time we find the singers widely recognized Top 10 hit, Wonderful, Angel’s biggest chart placing hit to date. With Wonderful Angel lays out an eclectic hit, merging electronic ebs with rock-tinged, deb step flows while a busy string section provides the track with a soaring atmospheric backdrop.
As a deep bass counts us in, Circles In Square injects a sweet ballad into the centre of About Time. While the melody is simple the lyrics are anything but minimalistic as the singer pours out a string of quick delivered lines over top a soundscape of electric-guitar riffs, strings and a complimenting synth which adds charm to this sugary and touching gem.
With a subtle piano melody that sounds like a sample of the Bruce Hornsby hit, The Way It Is, Secret welcomes fellow hip hop prince Wretch 32 into the About Time fold as he joins Angel on another of About Time’s key additions with its superb production and hook-rich melody.
About Time is a fine debut collection that threads confidently through a wide range of popular genres without committing itself to any one single style. Amalgamating soft rock with a heavy element of hip-hop, Angel also adds some electronica and mainstream pop appeal into the mixture to create its eclectic base which will undoubtedly help Angel secure a spot as one of 2013’s finest breakthrough acts.