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CD REVIEW: Alternate Sound of Life - She Whispers Loud
By Reid Murray - 11/29/2007 - 06:10 PM EST

Artist: Band: Alternate Sound of Life
Album: She Whispers Loud
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Best Songs: She Whispers Loud, In the Failing Light, Living On, You Say
Weakness: Repetiveness, style of songs' choruses sound like other's.
CD Review: I guess progressive rock is what I expected to hear when seeing the name Alternate Sound of Life. This southern California band is backed by a progressive rhythm. The style of singing isn’t my favorite, but it’s the style that sells to today’s popular music audience. Though the singer sounds similar to many other vocalists of today’s “emo” and modern rock bands, I like how more of his own original voice is heard, it’s not so generic.

“She Whispers Loud,” the self-titled track, has a commercial hook in its chorus. To complement the chorus, a flurry of synth is displayed. Another song that I envisioned hearing on modern pop radio, is “I Gained an Audience.” A smooth bass and well stylized vocals create a nice flow. The singer creates an original addition to this song with the way he sings in the chorus.

In “In the Failing Light,” ASL is a little more creative with the guitars and briefly sound like a product of the 80s, when the synths kick in. I like the touch of synthesizers, it makes you wonder; am I living in 2007? The vocals fit very well in the song as well.

ASL’s tightly knitted progressive rhythm may be heard in “Living On.” The drums and bass are lightening fast for little intervals and the guitar has a much more attractive tone compared to other songs on the album. It’s on this track where the keyboardist solos rather repeatedly.

The final track caused me to change my gaze, looking at my speakers out of surprise. I mean this in a good way because I like ASL’s acoustic piece they play to close out “She Whispers Loud.” A flingy guitar starts off the track, which is soon accompanied by piano and vocals. The piano and vocals combine nicely with the acoustic guitar to create emotion. ASL demonstrate their skill to loosen up and play a totally different type of song in comparison to the rest of the album.

Though this album is well produced, I could imagine ASL being a better live band, and for me, it’d be easier to listen to ASL’s music if they were live on stage while I was watching and drinking a pint of lager.




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