Saturday, July 5, 2008

His Name Is Alive - Detrola (2006)

His Name Is Alive is an inspiring band for me. The brainchild of Warren Defever, a native of Livonia, Michigan, which is just west of Detroit. Defever is very active in the metropolitan Detroit music scene, often lending his talents to many other groups and has even made his out studio called the UFO Factory. However, his main artistic outlet is His Name Is Alive. The band is not a merely a local upstart I wanted to share; on the contrary His Name Is Alive is rather renowned and is in possession of a large and diverse fan base. Additionally, they've been around for a bit, releasing nine full-length albums (plus many other EPs, compliations, etc.) to date and a tribute album came out in 2007 entitled Sweet Earth Flower. Despite the recognition they've received, they still do five dollar shows at high schools, which is where I first saw them live. At show they're known to lend out instruments for the crowd to use during the performance.
Personally, I find Warren Defever an interesting man. I heard him talking about his life-long home, Livonia, on the local NPR station the other week. I thought he very aptly explain the feeling of living in a Michigan suburb. He basically spoke of how he knew there was nothing to do and nothing to be gained by living there, but at the same time life does ever seem to present a good time to leave. Defever speaks this way even thought he went to Japan and married a local girl; to my amazement he even got her to move to Livonia. Sometimes I fear I'll get stuck here, in fact it has been my first thought every morning for the last decade. On the other hand I'm no Warren Defever, writing amazing songs and who's certainly never short on fun occupations to take up. The musicians and other artists are Detroit's saving grace that prevents it from becoming a total loss in my opinion.
As for the album I share today, it is their eighth, and my favorite called Detrola. Notable is that the long-time vocalist Karin Oliver is absent, being replaced by her cousin who's stage name is Andy FM. Despite the change, the singing is absolutely outstanding. Musically, the songs have catchy electronic sounds, lovely horns and funky guitars. "I Thought I Saw" is song with an accusatory theme that the vocals of Andy FM especially stand out and the exception talent of Defever's lyrics and instrumentation. "In My Dream" is lovely and has a great innuendo sexual maneuver I'll leave unnamed. The entire album is without a let down, and I frequently will listen to it when having company over or driving. I hope you find them as insteresting as I do.

To be had here (320 kbps);
His Name Is Alive - Detrola

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