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4.0 out of 5 stars Once again, it's "all change" for His Name is Alive, 5 Dec. 2004
Martin Harley (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stars on Esp (Audio CD)
His Name is Alive's 4th regular release, from 1996. This time there are so many references to American popular music styles from rock and roll, 60's girl-groups, reggae, surf music and the like, that listening to it is like station-hopping on an old radio that has a time-portal to the past.
The first track "Dub Love Letter" is a good example of what follows: it starts off with a crackly sample of what sounds like an old gospel choir - a song that will be re-visited twice more on the album - before a reggae-dub guitar appears with a psychedelic flute that wouldn't have been out of place at Woodstock. Elsewhere, more familar sounds appear: Warren Defever gets to press all his effects pedals again and even mimics the Beach Boys on "Universal Frequencies".
This was the band's first CD in the UK without the lyrics printed, so deciphering what they're singing about can be difficult (although everything appears on the band's own website now). Oblique as always, there are numerous references to things that might have happened during growing-up, plus some warped love songs.
There's also a significant new band member: soul singer Lovetta Pippin is a member of the gospel choir that sings on "I can't Live at Home in this World Anymore" and "Last One" and will becoming a full-time member by the bands next album. You can't hear her solo here, but it's a big clue to what direction the band's about to go in.

Its less mysterious & disturbing than previous releases, but still the product of skewed minds. 4 stars from me only because I'm personally drawn more to their earlier (& later) material.
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Stars on Esp
Stars on Esp by His Name Is Alive (Audio CD - 1996)
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