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CD REVIEW: Ed Hale and Transcendence – Rise and Shine
By Ben Ohmart - 04/21/2002 - 02:17 PM EDT

Artist: Ed Hale and Transcendence
Album: Rise and Shine
CD Review: Ed Hale & Transcendence’s debut 64 minutes stream in with a very Bowie-clad ‘Better Luck Next Time’ that mixes Bowie’s glam of the 70's with his modern coat tales of talented mixing and guitar sounds. Also, listen for the Pulp and world music influences. See, the great thing about Bowie was that he was always searching for the odd way of songwriting, or an interesting musical phrase to squeeze into the bones of his production. So too, does Ed Hale.

But Ed’s also concerned with setting everything down in a way that won’t annoy or slap the face of regular radio station airplay. Though ‘Paris’ begins with a sort of French movie intro, the song itself is filled with rock and roll and guitar and straight 4/4 beat. ‘Flipping through a box / of her yesterdays / I found a photograph / that you took / on your rooftop in Paris / You were happy then / and you wanted her so bad / but man that couldn’t happen.’ The Eastern flavors that end the song are unexpected, to say the least. Music should BE unexpected.

I’ve a feeling that Ed is a big John Lennon fan. A few clues are sprinkled around, like ‘All You Need Is Love’ on the end of ‘So Quero Um Xodo’ but also consider the rock-complaint song ‘Mother’ which puts the lie to all those ‘you can be President when you grow up’ lines we get when we’re kids. The lyrics ask ‘Why didn’t you tell me that it never works out / Why didn’t you tell me I’d have to scream and shout / I’d be drowning in sin / That they’d all do me in.’

Gathering strength from all the elements: pop, hip hop, classical, progressive, and a load of world and rock, Ed Hale and Transcendence lay down thinking man’s music. Oh, the lyrics might not be the most ambiguous or poetic in the world, but combined with the music, hmmmmmmmmmmm…

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