The Truth is That You Are Alive

Good rock music has the power to convince you there’s something urgent about being alive. Kris Anaya, the force behind An Angle, wants to prove it, and his songs communicate that urgency with wrenching (sometimes overwrought) earnestness. His third offering, The Truth is That You Are Alive, is still idealistic and cathartic, but also a little world-wise; on “Child in Me,” he says goodbye to innocence. Anaya has been compared to Bright Eyes, but he owes at least as much to melancholy master Elliott Smith on upbeat-sad songs like “I’m Alright,” and “Going to Heaven.” The Truth is embellished with strings, organ and other chamber-pop elements. It’s well-produced and well-crafted overall, with moments of bittersweet enjoyment that succeed in reminding you that, well, you’re not dead.