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Captured Angel
Dan Fogelberg

Full Moon 33499
Released: September 1975
Chart Peak: #23
Weeks Charted: 19
Certified Gold: 11/1/77

Dan FogelbergCaptured Angel is a transitional album for Dan Fogelberg, originally an acoustic singer/songwriter, who is developing into an accomplished exponent of Eagles-styled rock. Few talents surpass Fogelberg in musical versatility. Captured Angel, his self-produced third album, has him playing guitars, keyboards, bass, percussion, banjo and Arp, in addition to overdubbing perfect falsetto harmonies on top of an evocative, somewhat breathy tenor. The result is a richly textured album that crosses the sounds of CSN&Y and the Eagles without seeming blatantly imitative of either.

Dan Fogelberg - Captured Angel
Original album ad art.
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While no one song on Captured Angel matches the beauty of "To the Morning," Be on Your Way" and "Wysteria" from Home Free, or "The Long Way," "Illinois," "Changing Horses" and the title song from Souvenirs, two streamlined ballads with strings, "Next Time" and "The Last Nail," come close. These songs, as well as two extended rockers, "These Days" and "Man in the Mirror"/"Below the Surface" (each over seven minutes long), show an impressive vigor and density in their instrumentation, their arrangements highlighted by Fogelberg's masterful electric guitar fills.

The major weakness of Fogelberg's writing is his lyrics. At his best ("Old Tennessee"), Fogelberg evokes nostalgia for time and place. More often, however, he compounds sentimental clichés and diffuse images with syntactical errors. And since Captured Angel is a thematic album about an unresolved past relationship from a personal viewpoint, Fogelberg's verbal awkwardness seems all the more glaring. While Fogelberg's singing, playing and producing convey real emotional fervor, his writing doesn't.

- Stephen Holden, Rolling Stone, 11/6/75.

Bonus Reviews!

Fogelberg, with his gentle brand of country rock, builds up a stronger following with each release and seems to become a bit more comfortable with the style of music he has chosen. Kind of a blend between the Cosmic Cowboy scene, the Eagles genre and the Colorado school of music, Fogelberg runs through a series of gentle cuts highlighted by mild electric or acoustic instrumentals, double tracked vocals and easy harmonies. A natural follow to his last LP, which firmly established him as a name to be reckoned with on the commercial scene. Virtually all instruments played by artist, but when he needs it he gets help from the likes of J.D. Souther, Russ Kunkel and Norbert Putnam. Best cuts: "Aspen/These Days," "Comes And Goes," "Old Tennessee," "Crow," "The Last Nail."

- Billboard, 1975.

Such kind folks at Epic Records and Full Moon Productions -- not only have they let Fogelberg record nine more songs, and taken down something he hummed in the rec room for Glen Spreen to orchestrate, but they've let him put some of his art therapy on the cover. Dimensionality is beyond him (or else he doesn't know much about breasts), and it does look as if somebody put out the angel's eyes with a poker, but after all, it's the spirit that counts. D+

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

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