About His Name Is Alive
One of the 4AD label's more reliantly experimental acts in the '90s, His Name is Alive have gone from recording avant-garde snippets around ghost-like melodies to recording paeans to the Beach Boys as well as to classic soul and girl groups. At their onset, the band were lumped in with the dreamy, darkly hued sound of other 4AD acts the Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil. While certainly not an inaccurate description, the band seemed to have a desire to involve themselves in wider pop experimentation. On tracks "Are We Still Married?" from Home Is In Your Head (1992) and "Can't Go Wrong Without You" from Mouth By Mouth (1993). Warren Defever's sparse, haunting arrangements and Karin Oliver's high-pitched, echoing vocals gelled to an eerie precision. When they emerged in '96 with Stars On E.S.P., they had forsaken most of their pretensions to delve wholeheartedly into the pop formulas they had been flirting with. Defever's increasing skill as a studio wizard has seen each of their successive releases become unpredictable while retaining an air of pop's grandiose luster.