Angus & Julia Stone, “Angus & Julia Stone”

Angus-and-Julia-Stone_self-titledAngus & Julia Stone
Angus & Julia Stone
AMERICAN
7/10

This third record from musical duo (and siblings) Angus & Julia Stone wasn’t meant to be. After 2010’s Down The Way, the pair parted ways, intent on the solo careers they’d always planned. But at a friend’s party, Rick Rubin heard some of their songs and decided to contact them, eventually convincing them to reunite. This is the result. Dark and sultry in its heartbroken sadness, the album is a sumptuous collision of their inherent musical chemistry. While it doesn’t get much better than the glowering “A Heartbreak,” though both the fragile, folky yearning of “Wherever You Are” and the epic, self-destructive minor chord lament of “Crash and Burn” come close. But there’s also a more positive side to some of these songs, found in the ’70s-esque studio sheen of, say, “Grizzly Bear,” and the shimmering regret of “Heart Beats Slow.” It all combines to unequivocally prove that, as per usual, Rubin was right.

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