Livonia review by His Name Is Alive

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  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 0 (0 votes)
His Name Is Alive: Livonia

Overall Impression — 10
His Name Is Alive is a 4AD band from Michigan. This particular album has a gothic feel to it, but I wouldn't necessarily lump into just that one category. There's something very folky about it. There's hardly any percussion. The recordings consist of mostly guitars and female voices. Sweet and amateurish, but very talented vocalist. The album also utilizes a heavy dose of delays, reverbs, and some tape-effects. The only reason I say it's "gothic" is because the lyrical subject matter is a bit dark (not offensive, just sad), and the music sounds like stuff that would be played in a gothic church. Not that I'm an expert on gothic church music, but it has that vibe. I like this album a lot. But it might be a sentimental thing as it was the first record that seemed really experimental to me. It's as minimalist "pop" as you can get. And it completely blew my mind at the time. Sure, there's Eno and Glass type stuff that's a lot more minimalist but their pieces are hardly what one would call "songs". Livonia has easily distinguishable *songs*. It's not a party album by any stretch. It's the type of music you listen to when you're down or especially meditative. It's very laid back stuff. Should you find it in used CD place, I recommend you listen to these tracks first as they are the most likable on a first listen: track 3:If July Very eerie mixture of folk and ambient music. Vocals are far out. Excellent. The Mamas & The Papas reference on "pretending to pray" lyric. track 7: Caroline's Supposed Demon The guitars on this track sound so neato. Really dreamy, man. Female vocal duet is beauty audio-fied. I wonder if this song is in reference to the Beach Boys' "Caroline No" song on Pet Sounds track 10: You and I Have Seizures I think this song takes place on a train or somethin. The percussive element gives it that feeling. Features a small Bassoon part(more like a sound). Lovely song. track 11: How Ghost Affect Relationships This one is weird. The vocals are somewhat androgynous. Not sure what the vocalist is. But it's a good song.

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