An Angle

Spirited

An Angle's Kris Anaya knows how to stick to a theme. The name of the latest disc by his "band" (a rotating lineup of pals and co-conspirators) is We Can Breathe Under Alcohol, and to make sure no one thinks the title was chosen at random, he kicks off "Green Water," the first track, with the line "The music career is killing my liver." Hell, in this context, "Competitive Love, Competitive Drugs" qualifies as a change of pace -- yet in spite of his apparent single-mindedness, Anaya has more on his mind than the next party. Take "Angry Drunk," in which his delivery of couplets such as "I locked myself safe in my favorite bar/And the sun is setting with another glass of wine" drips with resignation, not rage. Sure, he can get overly precious at times; the cracks in his voice often sound a trifle rehearsed. But many of the arrangements qualify as clever, and on tracks such as "Change the World," which calls for the elimination of ABC, CBS, NBC and the NRA, Anaya exhibits a bouncy pop sensibility that's not boozy in the slightest. In the future, maybe he should skip a few rounds.

 
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