Sheffield born Boulding returns with a fresh take on her popular Joni Mitchell-esque sound, stating that 'Calling All Angels' has been influenced by Bat For Lashes, Dubstar and Sneaker Pimps, so it's a step away from her popular folk sound. But not a massive step.
Boulding has a great pop voice, and that shines throuh on the album, but in a genre saturated with dynamic big name stars such as KT Tunstall, Amy Macdonald and Rumer it's hard to see 'Calling All Angels' standing out.
There seems to be an element in each track that isn't focused on hard enough; string sections and snares that pop up too rarely should have been amplified to give the album a richer sound. It's as if each track has been stripped back from it's original recording, maybe to put Bouldings tender lyrics at the forefront, but collectively it ends up feeling a bit limp.
Each song is pleasant and fairly solid, but the general sound of the album is a bit unsure. 'Calling All Angels' would be great if it was completely acoustic, be it on piano or guitar, but because there are wimpy drumlines and weak synths throughout, it doesn't really carry any weight.
'Glorious' is warm and carefree and a good example of the what rest of the album could have been. 'Crooked Tooth', which was co-written with UNKLE's Gavin Clark is sweet, and 'Jerusalem' is nicely rounded, but as a whole, 'Calling All Angels' doesn't reach it's full potential, which is a shame because Helen Boulding is clearly a talented songwriter.