US - Minnesota - Full Moon 114 - 01/14/06
Too Tall To Hide
East Side Digital
Halloween, Alaska's second album is strong. Others have compared them to the reclusive Blue Nile and they do have a point. Singer James Diers has the soft voice to carry the tunes and the atmospherics are nice. "Drowned" is akin to Prefab Sprout's sophisticated mini pop symphonies. Diers sounds as quietly heartbroken as Paddy McAloon did. A bizarre version of LL Cool J's "I Can't Live Without My Radio" is sublimely layered and sad. Once Luka Bloom turned "I Need Love" into an Irish folk song and now this. Maybe someone will make a soft rock version of "Mama Said Knock You Out" next.
"Bad News Strikes" is instantly familiar and thrillingly dark. Diers plays with words and quotes Madonna songs even as he nails down a sense of discomfort. Matt Friesen adds fluid bass lines. "Glide" is a lovely song, Diers and company bowing out gracefully for the time being.
Copyright © 2006 Anna Maria Stjärnell