His Name Is Alive

King of Sweet

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Released in a limited edition of 2,000 copies by the Chicago-based Perdition Plastics label, King of Sweet features demos and alternate takes of songs that appeared on Home Is in Your Head and future releases, as well as material that is unavailable elsewhere. In many ways, King of Sweet captures the experimental, abstract essence of His Name Is Alive better than the group's other releases; the album's open-ended song collages reflect His Name Is Alive's willingness to reuse, remix, and reform any ideas that cross its radar. "Take a Look Around You" gives Home Is in Your Head's "Why People Disappear" an electric guitar makeover, while "This Weekend," "Are You Coming Down This Weekend," and "Meet Me by Moonlight, Alone" recast the same song in pensive, ethereal, and breezy pop settings. Other parts of the album toss the riff from Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My," hip-hop scratches, and jazzy samples in with Karin Oliver's sweet vocals and Defever's layered, versatile guitars. Jangly little pop songs are surrounded by interludes of found noises and sound effects, as on "Honey Babe, My Blue-Eyed Babe," and "Soul Resides in the Horse Barn," both of which the band reworked later. Though not His Name Is Alive's most accessible album, King of Sweet showcases the band's ability to make divergent elements sound completely natural together, as well as its constant change and invention.

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