Angus Stone, Broken Brights
Mysteriously familiar and elusive
Angus Stone started as the male half of Australian sibling folk duo Angus & Julia Stone. With Broken Brights, his second solo album, he extends his stylistic ambitions to someplace beyond mere folk music. Along with the title track’s hushed acoustics, there are also moments of noisy rocking bliss. “Only a Woman” doesn’t just read like a Bob Dylan song title; Stone sings the moody dirge with a distinct nasal whine, making it a close cousin to “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and the guitar solo is straight out of a Neil Young & Crazy Horse live set. Stone’s lyrics are mostly impressionistic word pictures, wide open to interpretation: “Is that the old man walking in the dark?” he wonders repeatedly on the title track. At its best, Broken Brights is mysteriously familiar and elusive, like the moment right before you fall asleep listening to classic rock radio.