Alias Eye - A Different Point Of You

Year of Release: 2004
Label: DVS Records
Catalog Number: DVS011
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:06:00

Except that it's obviously not, this very well could have been the shortest review I ever wrote ? or one of, at least. Because I have really only three words to say: I love it!

It may flirt at the edges of progressive rock, leaning a little bit more towards the pop spectrum, but I make no apologies for loving this album and everything about it. From the smooth, warm vocals of Philip Griffith (damn, this man can sing!), the fluid, silky guitar playing of Matthias Richter, the lovely keyboards of Vytas Lemke, the dynamic drumming of Ludwig Benedek to the solid bass playing of Frank Fischer,? I simply love this CD. Add in sax (Timo Wagner) and? well, I'm hooked. And though it's not credited (maybe they're samples), there's more brass in there ? muted trumpet on "The Usual Routine," for instance.

The album in question is Alias Eye's second full length album A Different Point Of You and here they deliver the goods, pull out all the stops, go for broke and don't look back ? all those wonderful clich?s that simply say this is one helluva album! I should have known what to expect, of course, based on Richard's review of the EP and RIPZ' review of their debut, but I think even then, I'd have been wowed by what came out of my speakers. I don't even know where to begin, because there's something wonderful to be said about each of the album's nine tracks ? all of which are my favourites ? the album is that rich with diversity that I can't just pick one above the others. For comparisons sake, the sound is a mix of A.C.T., Arena, and Saga (Griffith sounds like Sadler), at least in broad strokes. But, there's so much more in this mix than just that? Griffith sounds a bit like Elton John on the romantic, country-tinged (slide guitar from Richter), ballad "Icarus Unworded" (and every once in a while, like mid-to-late period Billy Joel). Like John, Griffith knows how to build up a vocal performance? in fact, it's a theatrical way of singing, playing to the back rows? drenched with emotion and power. The other ballad is the softer, fragile, sad "Drifing." It's the kind of ballad that cuts right to the heart, mainly down to the vocals/vocal harmonies, all underscored by piano, sparse percussion, subtly throbbing bass?

The album begins with the harder-edged, middle-eastern tinged "A Clown's Tale" that will appeal to fans of Threshold and Arena... like me. Richter's leads are sharp and to the point, Wagner's sax warm (yum) and slinky as it traces out that middle-eastern feel. It's a big track that opens with a declarative statement, forcing you to pay attention, without being too in your face. They follow this up with the funky "Fake The Right," which jives and jumps with lots of energy with a main riff that is very close to Led Zeppelin's ? and a big, loose, honking sax sound. The piece ends with some loose guitar riffing from Richter. "The Usual Routine" is another song with a funky feel, here provided some fat bass (and more great guitar from Richter) while keyboards bubble under? all with a hint of a vaudeville ? showtune feel especially from the old-time piano like keyboards. It's a sing-along (out loud) kind of song?

And I quite love the 70s soft-rock vibe to "Your Other Way," the vocal performance here so warm and sweet ? but not sweet in a bad way. Of course, I loved 70s soft-rock so maybe this is why I don't find this a problem. I love the way the vocals in the chorus fold over each other? and the tinkling piano solo from Lemke woven in with Griffith's vocals. The piece also features Christian Schimanski on acoustic and Spanish guitars? all making for a (another) wonderful track. It reminds me of all those songs that I'd hear on the radio that caught my ear, but didn't get so over played that I wouldn't get a thrill each time they came on. "Too Much Toulouse" taps into this as well, though a bit jazzier (echoes of John persist here ? all good). Lovely piano ? again, and Bernd Schreiber guests on contrabass.

"On The Fringe" is closer to prog, by way of a Saga-like feel. It's a dramatic and epic track, a bit darker around the edges than the other tracks ? throatier guitar from Richter for example, heavier drumming from Benedek? a greater sense of?drama. And could you expect anything less than an epic from a song called "The Great Open"? Of course not, and that's what we get, a textured, and nuanced, epic giving us different textures from what we've heard thus far. Maybe a little darker, a little more epic, certainly heavier (just listen to that drum/bass throb, quickening your heart) ? all with a grand scope? that "great open" is the expansive chorus. Another terrific solo from Richter (put "Steph's new guitar hero" next to his name).

I'm breathless after listening to this album ? and listen I have? again and again and again? just because. Everything I love about music ? prog, pop, or otherwise ? is wrapped up nicely, beautifully, wonderfully in this little package. I've had reason to speak hyperbolically about a number of releases, and this one is no less deserving. Remember this name: Alias Eye. I see bigger, much bigger, things happening for them this year.

Really, I could have written this review with just one word: Fantastic!

A Clown's Tale (6:52) / Fake The Right (5:02) / Your Other Way (6:48) / Icarus Unworded (6:36) / The Usual Routine (4:42) / Drifting (3:18) / On The Fringe (7:04) / The Great Open (7:28) / Too Much Toulouse (3:16)

Philip Griffiths - lead singer
Vytas Lemke - keyboards
Frank Fischer ? bass
Ludwig Benedek ? drums
Matthias Richter ? guitars

Beyond The Mirror (ep) (2000)
Field Of Names (2001)
A Different Point Of You (2003/2004)
In Focus (2007)
In Between (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: February 23rd 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 2059
Language: english


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