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The Ex­pand­ing Flower

Planet (An­ti­con) As the long­time bassist and back­ing singer of Dirty Pro­jec­tors, An­gel Der­adoo­rian has been put through the ringer as a vo­cal­ist. That band’s ac­ro­batic ar­range­ments re­quire three peo­ple to swoosh and swoop their voices, oc­ca­sion­ally har­mo­niz­ing and oc­ca­sion­ally serv­ing as com­plex coun­ter­points to one another. Their act is cal­i­brated down to the mi­crosec­ond, and the re­hearsals must have been ex­haust­ing. The Ex­pand­ing Flower

Planet, Der­adoo­rian’s first solo al­bum, finds her re­lax­ing just a bit — which is to say, she’s still clearly work­ing ex­tremely hard, but try­ing out dif­fer­ent ways to uti­lize her vo­cal tal­ents. Over rolling drums, fluid bass, and back­ing-vo­cal chirps, she tack­les An­nie Len­nox-es­que pop on “A Beau­ti­ful Woman,” Cocteau Twins-like ethe­re­al­ity on “The In­vis­i­ble Man,” and Peter Gabriel-ish at­mo­spher­ics on al­bum high­light “Ouneya.” Yoko Ono has long been a clear vo­cal in­flu­ence, and nowhere is that more clear than on the Ja­pane­set­inted “Ko­modo.” Der­adoo­rian’s vo­cals can be dizzy­ing in “Vi­o­let Minded,” as if play­ing a game of Twis­ter with an elas­tic base­line and key­boards, or calmer and more drawn out, as on clos­ing bal­lad “Grow.” De­spite the wide range of style and in­flu­ences, she main­tains a steady tone of re­laxed, of­ten African-inspired melodies. It feels like she’s find­ing her voice as a solo artist, but this re­sult stands on its own as an in­tel­li­gent and ad­ven­tur­ous work. — Robert Ker

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