We Live In Paradise

Alev

Eclipse, 2007

http://www.alevmusic.com/

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/15/2007

There is only one weak moment on this disc. That's a pretty good sign.

On the surface, the title track kicks off with what seems to be a very promising release. The instrumental has dynamics, an outstanding guitar riff and pulsating drums. The syncopation is interesting -- in fact, the entire release is interesting, the kind of music that will turn you into a fan pretty quickly.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The subdued "Time Will Show" is another highlight, once it gets going after a minute of too-low mixing and Alev Lenz's vocals laced with effects and thus stripped of their power.

After this misstep, Alev significantly progresses through the material with some varying tempos and moods. "Youth (Sleep Well)" is a moody experiment that doesn't sway far from thick power chords that balance an airy guitar riff that moves to the back of the mix. Drummer Niki Brockt punctuates the track with tasteful hi-hat and snare work to make this his best performance on the disc.

"Cause & Effect" and "Just Because" are both upbeat tracks that rock. "Just Because" is the standout of the two. Among its pointed lyrics: "Just because you think you're walking, you must show me the way / Just because you think you're talking, you think you'll understand." Alev toggles between singing sweetly and singing aggressively, and the verses of this track make it obvious to the listener that the speaker doesn't agree with the subject. It's the best song here.

The majority of this release is a showcase for Alev to sing delicate melodies and to lead the band through the material. "Dying Everyday" is where the band gets it all right: the lyrics, the acoustic guitar, the violins in the background, the drumming . . . everything. I can listen to this track repeatedly and never get tired of it.

As a bonus, the 12th track on this release is a version of "Just Because" -- already my favorite track -- sung in Swedish. I don't know a lick of that language, but damn, Alev sounds sexy. It's a nice topper to a very strong release.

Rating: A

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© 2007 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Eclipse, and is used for informational purposes only.