Afterlife

Electrosensitive

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AllMusic Review by

Off the bat, you wouldn't know Steve Miller had any problem with electricity given the electronic nature of his releases as Afterlife, but the title of his fourth album describes a condition from which he suffers. Miller lives with electromagnetic hypersensitivity, making for a somewhat reclusive life as he avoids magnetic fields as much as possible. Still, he possibly endured some EMFs while crafting the lush, smooth beats and chilled atmospherics of Electrosensitive. Joined by vocalists/collaborators like Sharon Musgrave, Juanita Grandé, and Chris Coco, Miller doesn't bring anything new to the table in a genre that is long past its glory days, but he does provide the warm chill and deep beats that peppered his efforts on the Café del Mar compilations. Bits of soul, diva vocals, disco, house, and dub inform these 15 tracks that aim to keep genre fans feeling groovy and cool, but casual listeners will probably wonder if they're listening to a dated trip-hop relic at times. Though Miller's electrosensitivity might have seemed a cool marketing tool to his publicist and record label who milked it in their press release, it might suggest an easy punch line for a critic, as one could argue that the somewhat dated sounds of the album mean Miller hasn't heard the latest from his peers in his avoidance of so many things electrical and electromagnetic. Yes it's lulling and will be considered hip and cool by the Euro pool crowd, but Electrosensitive isn't interesting or memorable enough to qualify as anything other than background music.

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