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Phil Angotti

East Side Soul

(Jam Recordings; US: 2006; UK: Available as import)

At times Phil Angotti can be a great power pop artist, but for the opening number on his new album he channels Bob Dylan for “East Side Soul #27”. The same terrain is covered with the equally appealing “95th St. Bridge Song”. At other times, his Americana shuffle a la Blue Rodeo or Wilco on “Psychedelic Sunday” is quite pretty and has the desired effect. Angotti returns to what are his strengths with “Avenue L”, a soft, quasi-orchestral number. Far better is the poppy, breezy “If I Catch You”, which strolls along effortlessly. Some songs don’t work or mess the mark completely, especially the rambling messy and unfocused “Nervous Girls” that has an arrangement that sounds like it was thrown together at the last minute. Generally, Angotti shines more often than flops with solid, Westerberg-ian nuggets like “Mr. Baroo”, which also has some Beatles accents to it. More Beatles flavors are easily audible with the short, choppy but infectious “Tike”. However, the preachy “Help Save Rock ‘N Roll Music” is a bit cheesy throughout.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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