Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|His Name Is Alive|
Stars on Esp / Nice Day (Bonus 6-Song Import)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Micah Newman | Fort Worth, TX United States | 04/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"His Name Is Alive sort of took a leap and entered Phase Two with the album _Stars on E.S.P._ Departing significantly from the atmospheric This Mortal Coil-like abstractions of early albums as well as the brash fusion of the previous album _Mouth By Mouth_, the main influence here seems to be Oldies, Motown, and folk spirituals, albeit mutated in their own inimitable way into something uniquely His Name Is Alive. "This World Is Not My Home/I Can't Live in This World Anymore," what sounds like a black spiritual, is a refrain and a theme on this album, appearing in different forms on three different songs. "Universal Frequencies" is basically a remake/remix of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." Echoes of the past can still be heard in songs like "What Are You Wearing Tomorrow" and "The Sand That Holds The Lakes In Place," however. I didn't understand or particularly care for this new sound at all at first, but it's grown on me quite a lot, and I can now confidently say that I consider this album utterly brilliant-one of my favorites. It all fits into their greater ethos of rootsy, earthy sounds that are emotionally evocative, sometimes chillingly so. The music seems to vibrate in time with the life in one's very bones, a panorama of aching time and humanness. This is the sound of AM Radio, the Great Lakes, summer creeping into fall, a lone guitar plugged into an amp in a wooden room in an old house somewhere in Ypsilanti. The whole thing is not what you'd call "immediate," though. A lot of strange sounds and weirdness creeping out from unexpected nooks are to be found, as is standard fare with His Name Is Alive. It may take you quite a few listens to fully appreciate, but once you do you just might understand life a little better.The tacked-on _Nice Day_ e.p. is similar to _Stars on E.S.P._, but with more straightforward soul-rock tunes. It's a lot simpler, and for that the subtleties are bit tougher to dig out. These two fit together nicely; I bought them separately, as that was how I found them when they were released, and I've always wanted to put the two CDs onto a changer and hit `shuffle', except I don't have one. So, great value, for a mind-altering, soul-shifting experience."
Amusing, fascinating recreation of oldies by Livonia's best
Christopher Culver | 06/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With this surprising innovation by Livonia, Michigan's only musical visionary, Warren Defever ("His Name is Alive") showed a new maturity with his 1996 album STARS ON ESP.The result of three years of painstaking recording, STARS ON ESP breaks from the haunting ethereal atmospheres of HNIA's first two albums and the almost-mainstream alt-rock of 1993's MOUTH BY MOUTH. STARS ON ESP is the story of Defever's sudden love affair with oldies radio and old-time folk stylings.The album's central motif revolves around three versions of a old folk song. The first, "This World is Not My Home," is pure rock n' roll. The second, "I Can't Live in This World Anymore" is an acoustic folk-rock treatment. However, it is the third version, "Last One," which stands out the most. Featuring a gospel choir over an old-time wire-loop recording, nothing could have been more different than what Defever had previously released.Oldies radio obviously meant a lot to Defever, influencing songs like "Country Girl," "The Bees," and "What Else is New List." Nonetheless, Warren's offbeat lyrics, here articulated by Karin Oliver and Erika Hoffmann, aren't something you'd here on the AM dial.Although the production isn't as polished as His Name is Alive's 1998 album FT. LAKE, the oldies-experimentation and novelty of STARS ON ESP make it deserving of notice."
"ESP" goes beyond comparison.
firstname.lastname@example.org | San Francisco, CA | 03/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After becoming a huge fan of HNIA in 1993, it was a good three years in the making before they released a new piece of material. I anguished over it and I tried so hard not to get my hopes up because I figured that I would be ultimately disappointed. As I finally purchased "Stars on Esp" on a muggy District of Columbia day, I felt almost transported into a whole other world of music that I still cannot find anything to compare to. Its rare to find such beauty on one cd, and after years of continuous listening, I still find new qualities and sounds that I had not previously heard. This is this the paradigm of what pop music should be...."