INXS famously sang I told you, that we could fly, cause we all have wings, but some of us don’t know why in the 1988 mega hit “Never Tear Us Apart”. Capturing that same heavenly vibe is fellow Aussie Andy Michaels. The Perth, Australian singer/songwriter harnesses much more celestial tones in his song “Angel”. The song features Michaels’ oft-collaborated with vocalist Kerry Ironside. A sequel to “Never Tear Us Apart”? Certainly not. One thing’s for sure, “Angel” is easy to figure out just why this particular song does have wings.
A talented storyteller with an always-optimistic lens, Michaels’ started writing songs and playing the guitar at 18. He’d been a car accident, leaving him temporary disabled. The prolific songwriter’s discography is impressive – with over 100 songs. Among Michaels’ songs are “The Flame”, “Emerald Eyes” (featuring Tiarna), “Soldier”, “To Love Somebody” and “Where Are You Now”. Michaels has previously worked with Ironside on such songs as “White Lies” and “The Flame”. “Angel” is from his album, Revisited, and also features a backing choir.
Michaels’ music bed is airy, snug to Ironside’s voice. An acoustic guitar, a delightful serenading orchestration is something to celebrate. At times the little nuances sound like twinkling gemstones…light reflecting from natural wonders. It’s like moving light, what the sun would sound like when it bursts through the clouds. There are moments when the sound waves rock you back and forth like a newborn. Funny, it sounded like a full symphony to me, even though it’s obvious it’s not a full orchestra. When I closed my eyes to listen, I felt a myriad of images and emotions flow before my eyes. “Angel” could easily be included in a movie soundtrack. It easily lends itself to visual interpretations.
Ironside’s vocals are strong, confident. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Here I was thinking she would be delicate and even more Lee Ann Womack-esque (“I Hope You Dance”), and much to my surprise (and delight) she’s a mix between Bonnie Tyler (“Total Eclipse of the Heart”) and Kim Carnes (“Bette Davis Eyes”). A bit raspy, I think her voice has much more character than Womack. This song wouldn’t sound the same and it certainly wouldn’t have the same impact if she were pristine-sounding. I like that she has a smudge to her voice, a few blemishes. It makes her sound more real. When she sings let your love shine for everyone to see, she means it. She’s just not reading words on a page aloud. She’s singing about a special someone in her life that really is a gift. Michaels’ lyrics recognize this universal theme.
The moments Ironside’s voice collides with the backing choir is literally like the heaven’s opening. It feels sacred, bigger than the song. Michaels’ production is a gathering of love and astonishing voices. This song is one of those rarities that touches the soul more than it touches the heart. Michaels’ words and Ironside’s melodies linger for days. “Angel” has the wings to reach many, many audiences.
by Bethany Page
The music of Andy Michaels has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com