Steeped in classic rock, post-rock, prog, country and jazz, Pedal Steel's first release, In the Winter It Makes the Dead Grass Look Green, was one of those proverbial top-ten-albums-of-the-year-that-you've-never-heard. The sound was ambitious, thrumming with ornate arrangements and gently unfolding emotion. It had the look, the feel and the funny smell of a concept album, only it didn't suck; even the distended, Yes-like triptych that closed the disc was over way too soon. So how in the hell do you top that? Easy: specialize. With The Angel of the Squared Circle, Ogilvie and company have scaled back their sweeping panorama, zooming in on some of the more scenic points of interest. The track "Amy" is a delicate, deadpan country rocker that might just be a bootleg of that jam session between Gram Parsons and Velvet Underground that never happened. "Waiting" is pretty much the same; just substitute Calexico and Love in that equation. Pedal Steel's early penchant for digital echo has also been eclipsed by organic washes of old-fashioned psychedelia; by the time the last few minutes of the album's closer, "Baionette," rolls around, it's melted down into a shimmering, stabbing, space-blues spasm similar to that third record of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass that nobody ever listens to. Granted, it's not quite as innovative as "Time in a Bottle" recited karaoke style over "Sweat Loaf," but it'll do.