Record review: It's a Miracle – Only Angels Have Wings

The same, only different.

Now that it has become almost impossible to find a copy of a prior albums, Chokebore has eventually released the successor of the acclaimed Black Black on a small French label that a friend of theirs created especially for them. When they played in France last year, they already had this album in mind, just as a painkiller to get away from the sweet darkness of Black Black. As a matter of fact, the album opens with the unexpected Ciao L.A. with its explicit lyrics (I am looking back against the tour of black black...). This "basic" power pop rock song seems to announce a break up with the prior era, but Geneva plunges back into a slow motion love affair fans enjoy. While I'll Save You reinforces the genuine satisfaction of listening to a perfect sequel to the last album, Snow mixes both ambiances and maybe the band has finally found rest in its inner peaceful war. Chokebore plays with the listener, because they never really give up their darker side, now they master it and play with it within the songs. One of my favourite song, Ultra-Lite, is again a perfect balance between melancholy and evolution, with a delicate piano line and the quality of the arrangements. I'd say that Police is much more catchy played live because of its heady structure. I Love Waiting and Person You Chose are rather complementary and they are both marked by frustration and contained fury. Little Dream is another concise answer to Black Black fans and detractors. The album ends with She Flew Alone, with the predominance of the Dm chord, one of the saddest...

It's a Miracle has no flaws and stands as another milestone in Chokebore's career, just like Black Black. Fans just have to surpass their infinite passion for the latter. This statement is really stupid but I never finish anything correctly.

Angus Anderson

Only Angels Have Wings (May 2002)