Angus Crown & The Family Jewels effortlessly blend together the ukulele, punk, and vaudeville into a satisfying whole on their self-titled debut. With a strong sense of play the lyrics are sharp indeed, running the gamut from the gentle to the absolute biting critiques of the world. Giving the songs a sense of spaciousness, they have a certain level of lightness throughout. This highly thoughtful attention to detail, to sound, and lyrics results in a sort of dreaminess that permeates even their heaviest songs.
“Cold Soup” opens the album up with a slightly off-kilter approach with an incredibly detailed stream-of-consciousness narrative, which brings together pop culture references along with the impending worry of the inevitable aging process. Taking its time is the languid lilting work of the romantic “Heart And Soul”. On “Lounge Dog” Angus Crown & The Family Jewels let a little bit of funk into the overall approach, as they show off their dexterity. Delightfully offensive to its core is the rush of “Lullaby Blues”. By far the highlight of the album is the truth that flows out of “Paycheck”, where the drudgery of work is explored in full. A sense of hopeless dominates the track as the pleading of needing a day off rings particularly true. Nearly surreal in its subtle shifts is the odd atmospheric “Sandbox”. Bringing the album to a satisfying close are the twists and turns of “Smitty’s Calling”.
With their self-titled debut, Angus Crown & The Family Jewels prove themselves to be a unique voice in the sonic wilderness, one willing to bring together such a plethora of styles into a colorful, kaleidoscopic swirl of color.
By Beach Sloth