Captured Angel

Dan Fogelberg

Epic, 1975

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


I noticed recently, perusing our reviewers page, that I have been writing for the DV for just about nine-and-a-half years. That’s a lot of reviews, and I have said some rather perceptive things. I have also said some stuff that was just plain wrong.

Let us, O Ye DV Faithful, pull a line from my review of Dan Fogelberg’s Nether Lands: “his 1977 release, Nether Lands, is when he hit his stride for the first time.” Wrong, wrong, wrong – because I’ve spent some time recently listening to 1975’s my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Captured Angel, and he’s striding just fine here, thanks. I’m not sure what I was thinking, exactly; maybe it was some sort of allergic reaction to the abysmal cover art of the album, a picture more suitable for the MySpace page of a 14-year-old manic-depressive. (It appears Fogelberg may have painted this himself. Um…well…)

That aside, Captured Angel is a pretty fine piece of work. Fogelberg kicks off the album with the driving, powerful “Aspen/These Days,” then gives us a trio of songs firmly in the country music camp. While “Comes And Goes” is pretty much average, “Captured Angel” and “Old Tennessee” are emotional, simple, and strong songs that will stick in your head for hours after you hear them.  (I found myself singing “Old Tennessee” at work and getting strange looks from my Gen-Y coworkers. Their loss.) “Crow” is a dark and powerful ballad about a man on the run, and “Next Time” is a love song that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Byrds album.

The real highlights of this disc are worth special mention.  “Man In The Mirror/Below The Surface” is a upbeat paean to self-exploration and discovery, and it’s as close as Fogelberg gets to a rocker on this album. The counter is “The Last Nail,” the CD’s close, a wistful and sorrowful tribute to a lost love that opens with Fogelberg’s naked voice and a single guitar, all complex production tricks tossed aside for a moment. Great stuff.

Captured Angel  is proof you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. (It’s also proof that I’m just now starting to get competent at this music review business.) Take the time to mine this hidden jewel in Fogelberg’s catalog; you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic, and is used for informational purposes only.