Supported by most of the musical crew from the Songs of Betrayal album, Johnny Indovina leads Human Drama through an excellent, fascinating set of old and new songs on 14,384 Days Later, demonstrating that the near-obsessive focus he brings to his music in the studio is equally matched in concert. The unquestioned revelation lies with all the Feel-era tunes, here given truly wonderful renditions and arrangements that leave the overwrought studio versions well in the dust. "Death of an Angel" gives a new, prominent place to electric violin courtesy of Jamil Szmadzinski, who carries out work on that instrument excellently throughout the set, while Indovina's guitar work is simply soaring. The almost too heavy-handed for words "Dying in a Moment of Splendor" and "There Is Only You" similarly sparkle via lighter, dreamier enough takes, while the even earlier songs "Wave of Darkness" and "I Bleed for You" are at once harrowing and powerful, very human, very dramatic indeed. More recent songs such as "This Tangled Web" and "Tired," meanwhile, receive the excellent charge they deserve in a live setting -- check out the ravishing "A Million Years" in particular. Indovina is on a total and complete musical high throughout -- more people should sound this great live, vocally and instrumentally. In keeping with Indovina and the band's bent for inspired cover songs, three non-originals surface, none having appeared on Pin-Ups or elsewhere. Though delivered in blazing fashion, having the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" as the set closer isn't a surprising choice, but an intense, wonderful reworking of John Cale's solo landmark "I Keep a Close Watch" is something else again. Meanwhile, Leonard Cohen gets another nod here with a swirling, goth/folk-dance take on "Who by Fire," Szmadzinski's violin is just plain terrific, and Indovina's singing is a total high. An informative band biography by Christian Serpas accompanies the recording, along with a nicely personal message from Indovina himself.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett