Alias Eye - In Focus

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Quixote
Catalog Number: QXT CD 48
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

In my opinion, Philip Griffiths has one of the best voices in rock. The new Alias Eye album makes good use of it as many of the songs consist of a variety of styles, but the vocals are always at the center of the songs. For those unfamiliar with the band, Alias Eye is an AOR band that flirts with prog from time to time, but on this album those flirtations are fleetingly less than before. As musicians, they have the chops to be progressive, and the flourishes of keyboards throughout make one think of the progressive influences the band members obviously have, but the album is a unified attempt to be melodic and radio friendly. Again, that's not to knock the band, because their confidence with their material and their style is quite clear.

The first song establishes that clearly. "I'm Your Lie" is extremely catchy with a very pronounced chorus. The next two songs are more funky and riff heavy, exploring the territory that Deep Purple delved into on albums like Come Taste The Band. "Enlighten Them" has a salsa rhythm which adds a refreshing change of pace. This is followed by an exquisite ballad, "Books," where Phillips voice excels. "History Lesson" adds syncopation to its chorus, showing the band to not be fearless when it comes to providing the listener with the unexpected.

Piano is used lavishly (I love it) and "Hold On" has playing reminiscent of the romantic passages found in Tony Banks' work. It's another ballad with strong vocals, but a few changes await the listener before the song is over.

The next couple of songs return to the funky format of previous songs before we hear another beautiful ballad in the album's closer, "How We Perceive." The warm lush voice of Griffiths is augmented with a guest vocalist, Anna-Sabrina Lopp. There's a hidden track at the end of the song which playfully shows off a loungy jazzy side to the band.

To summarize, this album is not prog rock. Though the musicians are all virtuoso, there is no attempt to show that off. Some of the songs are blatantly melodic, others are riffy and funky. Not all achieve the best results, yet there is a consistency to the album. If riffy, keys layered AOR is to your liking, you will enjoy this.

I'm Your Lie / In Denial / The Call / Enlighten Them / Books / History Lesson / Rhodesian Rapsody / Hold On / To Be Or Not To Be / Falling / How We Conceive

Vytas Lemke - keyboards
Frank Fischer - bass
Philip Griffiths - vocals
Ludwig Benedek - drums
Matze Wurm - 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: January 7th 2007
Reviewer: Richard Zywotkiewicz
Artist website:
Hits: 3901
Language: english


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