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Detrola

His Name Is Alive Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 6.15
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Frequently Bought Together

Detrola + Someday My Blues Will Cover The Earth + Ft. Lake
Price For All Three: 24.29

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Oct 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reincarnate
  • ASIN: B000FG4KOG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,024 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bewildering eclectic 2 Jun 2006
Format:Audio CD
Having made their debut with 1990's stunning Livonia album and forged a career of eccentric dream pop, His Name Is Alive branched out in the new millennium with 2001's Someday My Blues Will Cover The Earth, an album which, astoundingly, featured nothing but urban soul ballads, before appearing to go into deep hibernation after the release of their final 4AD album, 2002's Last Night.

In fact, Warn Defever and his cohorts had actually been busier than ever, delivering .mp3-only tracks, EPs and albums. However, the lack of any widely available new material seemed ominous for fans of the Michigan-based collective. Detrola, His Name Is Alive's first album for the aptly-named Reincarnate Music, lays to rest any concerns about the band's existence and is definitely worth the four-year wait.

Rather than tackle a single genre with the eleven tracks on offer, the recesses of Detrola contain hints of all HNIA's back catalogue. The folky torch song vocals of Lovetta Sharie Pippen immediately recall their second album, Home Is In Your Head, while much of the late-night electronica hints at the more up tempo moments of Last Night.

So, within this potpourri, HNIA treat us to Introduction, a traditional spiritual dirge, some New Order-inspired instrumentation on In My Dream, a galloping Vaudeville sing-along (Get Your Curse), Beach Boys' melodies (You Need A Heart), some free jazz saxophone runs (Seven Minutes) and the electro hypnosis of *C*A*T*S*.

As Send My Face sends the album to a bittersweet conclusion, we are left to ponder that the four year gestation might have been required for HNIA to so expertly learn each of the genres they succeed in attempting on this new album. Bewilderingly eclectic Detrola may be, but it's no less enjoyable for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puzzling, but enjoyable (newcomers start here) 13 Jun 2006
Format:Audio CD
I've reviewed a bunch of HNIA albums on Amazon by now, and commented upon how the music genre, or style, changes with each album. In a couple of places, I've also tried to recommend where to start if you've not heard them before but fancy a bit of a gamble if Amazon's recommendations have sent you here. "Detrola" is the first HNIA album that doesn't break new ground. I like it, but have to admit to scratching my head a little over it.

A fair question to ask would be have these guys run out of ideas? Or are they treading water?. I don't think they have, because the music is still pretty strong and worth hearing. You could ask the same question of Coldplay, for example, after hearing their X&Y album and my finger would hover over the "guilty" button for a long time.

The thing about His Name is Alive is their 15-year output has by now been so diverse, they have about a dozen or more styles of music they could justifiably pick from to use as the basis for new songs. The music on this album is all good and I'm playing it a lot at the moment, so I'm not disappointed in the quality.

What I can say for sure is: if you're a newcomer to His Name is Alive, this might be a good first purchase. If you like it, then feel free to pick almost any other album with confidence. I've previously recommended "Someday my Blues with Cover the Earth" and "Mouth by Mouth" as good places to take a gamble. I can now add "Detrola" to that list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bewilderingly eclectic 2 Jun 2006
Format:Audio CD
Having made their debut with 1990's stunning Livonia album and forged a career of eccentric dream pop, His Name Is Alive branched out in the new millennium with 2001's Someday My Blues Will Cover The Earth, an album which, astoundingly, featured nothing but urban soul ballads, before appearing to go into deep hibernation after the release of their final 4AD album, 2002's Last Night.

In fact, Warn Defever and his cohorts had actually been busier than ever, delivering .mp3-only tracks, EPs and albums. However, the lack of any widely available new material seemed ominous for fans of the Michigan-based collective. Detrola, His Name Is Alive's first album for the aptly-named Reincarnate Music, lays to rest any concerns about the band's existence and is definitely worth the four-year wait.

Rather than tackle a single genre with the eleven tracks on offer, the recesses of Detrola contain hints of all HNIA's back catalogue. The folky torch song vocals of Lovetta Sharie Pippen immediately recall their second album, Home Is In Your Head, while much of the late-night electronica hints at the more up tempo moments of Last Night.

So, within this potpourri, HNIA treat us to Introduction, a traditional spiritual dirge, some New Order-inspired instrumentation on In My Dream, a galloping Vaudeville sing-along (Get Your Curse), Beach Boys' melodies (You Need A Heart), some free jazz saxophone runs (Seven Minutes) and the electro hypnosis of *C*A*T*S*.

As Send My Face sends the album to a bittersweet conclusion, we are left to ponder that the four year gestation might have been required for HNIA to so expertly learn each of the genres they succeed in attempting on this new album. Bewilderingly eclectic Detrola may be, but it's no less enjoyable for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hooray for warren 7 Feb 2006
Format:Audio CD
After being slightly disapointed with the last 2 H.N.I.A. albums i bought 'detrola' with some trepidation. How daft and distant that memory seems to be.
Falling somewhere between 'livonia' and 'mouth by mouth' this is a fantastic return to form. Each song weaves into the next with that weird edginess that i loved on previous albums.
Buy Buy Buy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HNIA is back 15 Feb 2006
By Pantone292 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
HNIA is my favorite band, and have been since 1993. Needless to say, I was getting very nervous after the last two albums. Not that they were bad; in fact, they were very creative. Only to me, they didn't sound like HNIA. I mean, it was like someone plopping a Prodigy CD into my player and saying, "This is the new HNIA". Those two albums, with a different sound and a very different singer, were more like side projects for Warn Defever than full-blown HNIA releases (although he might argue that).

However, Detrola brings back the musical genius of Defever. I don't think it's quite as good as Ft.Lake, but probably the equal to E.S.P. Karin Oliver (last album was Ft.Lake) had such a great voice; Andy F.M.(new singer) sounds very similar, almost in a spooky way. The sound of that voice, whether it comes from Karin or Andy, is HNIA. My only complaint is the length. A little too short in my opinion, though that might be an illusion because it's so good and I don't want it to end.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of His Name Is Alive's most consistent and artful efforts 1 Sep 2006
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
DETROLA, the first album by His Name Is Alive since LAST NIGHT four years previously, represents a sort of return-to-form for Warn Defever's main project.

After one independent and two major-label albums in an R & B and jazz-inspired vein, here we see a return to the sort of idiosyncratic pop and retro stylings of late '90s HNIA. I was generally pleased by HNIA's turn to soul stylings in the albums WHEN THE STARS... and SOMEDAY MY BLUES..., and the latter is even one of HNIA's finest efforts. But with LAST NIGHT, I was unhappy with Warn's surrendering of creative control to his musicians, resulting in an inconsistent album that lacked the cleverness of Warn's songwriting. On DETROLA, however, everything is tight and meticulously arranged, and one is always certain that music is straight from the vision of this titan of indie music.

And all Warn's old concerns are here, from sexual innuendo hidden behind syrupy pop that you don't notice until you start singing along (e.g. "In my dreams it's beautiful, we go down at the same time... just like a six and like a nine"), to uncomfortably threatening murmurs ("not everyone gets a warning...", "I'll drown you in a stream..."). No wonder one notable review called it a collection of "perverse fantasies", but it's some of the most moving songwriting around.

Musically, there's a mix of the old and the new. Vocalist Andy FM hearkens back to the days of long-time HNIA vocalist Karin Oliver, and the old b-side "You Need A Heart To Live" is recorded again here. There's also two very striking new developments, the first being acoustic ambient music tied to some of Warn's latest compositional work, and the second a striking use of drum machines something like Swayzak with a sense of humour. The only bits remaining from the R & B era are one track with vocalist Lovetta Pippen ("Seven Minutes") and some saxophone here and there. All in all, however, everything seems so fresh that Warn is in no way "back-peddling" from his controversial post-millennium style, but rather it all sounds like a clear and organic progression.

DETROLA is a fun album any fan of indie pop will find enjoyable. If I rate this less than five stars, it's only because I personally have generally moved away from the 4AD bands I adored in my youth towards (modern- or contemporary) classical music. But for fans of HNIA of whatever period, DETROLA is very much worth hearing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Pop (for now) 24 Feb 2006
By Brian J. Greene - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
HNIA's ever-changing bent is back to weird pop for the time being, after two (excellent, by the way, and totally unheralded) soul albums, Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth and Last Night. Lovetta Pippen, the singer who took almost all of the main vocals on those last two albums, is only a minor player here, as the old-school HNIA indie-rock female vocalists (there are so many of them, and they seem to use different names at different times, so it's hard to know which of them is singing on which track) take over. Some of the jazz sound found on Last Night is present as an undertone here, but mostly this is left-of-center pop, although more upbeat, less ethereal than what was found on old HNIA albums like the sublime Stars on ESP. If you like the poppier stuff on the Ft. Lake album, this one's for you.
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet 13 April 2006
By Jacob Sinai - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This has to be the most ambitious HNIA album I've heard. I can't remember the last time I liked something so thoroughly after just one listen. The album manages to meander through so many different genres in just 38 minutes, and every part of it impresses me. I highly recommend Detrola.
4.0 out of 5 stars submerged soul 8 April 2006
By Stargrazer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This listens like a throwback album at first, a wierdly natural successor to Ft. Lake. Yet HNIA has retained the late-night vibe of the two radically different albums since Ft. Lake (Last Night & Someday My Blues Will Cover The Earth) while shedding most obvious nods to R&B. In general, the songs here are more expansive than either of the former phases of HNIA: the collage technique used on their earlier albums did not frequently permit long song structures, yet on Detrola the sound-colors have returned to their more unpredictable mid-90s indie-pop palette.

The 2-album foray into soul has left it's mark indelibly, it's in the very wires and circuitry of the songs -- however Detrola tastes like a delicious slice of the distant, slowly spinning dream-pop past.
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