Picks and Pans Review: Strange Angels

UPDATED 01/22/1990 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/22/1990 at 01:00 AM EST

Laurie Anderson

Anderson became the premier '80s performance artist with stage shows that melded electronic music with story telling, giant slide projections, shadow play, vaudeville and gadgetry. Her fifth record finds her at a tenuous turning point.

Challenging her own style, Anderson has stripped some of the dramatic effects from her current show and focuses more on music. This album, including excerpts from that show, reflects Anderson's new priorities. Her vocals often used to sound like musical talking; now she sings sweetly and writes eminently tuneful melodies.

Anderson toys with pop music at her own risk, sometimes robbing her work of the substance that has made her so appealing. She used to pare away her lyrics, leaving simple phrases that bounced off each other provocatively. Here she delivers lyrics that fall short of her intended irony and sometimes sound just dumb.

Strange Angels still sounds wonderful at times. Gentle, soothing melodies and lyrics project an awe for life's mysteries. If there were such a thing as good new age music, this would qualify. (Warner Bros.)

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters