HiM

New Features

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AllMusic Review by

Doug Scharin's Chicago-based H.I.M. collective makes a slight shift of focus, giving its fifth album a higher dose of the Afro-beat that characterized 2000's Our Point of Departure. The six tracks segued over a 60-minute running time succeed in the original ethos of the album: trying to capture a seamless feel in the arrangements by keeping the entire body of work at the same tempo. As Neil Turpin and Scharin's two-kit polyrhythmic section sketches the skeleton of each track through beats, the rest of the bandmembers are free to explore the outer reaches of each groove -- Fred Erskine's bass working more with Carlo Cennamo's freewheeling sax than with the percussion while Josh LaRue's guitar fills whatever space it can. New Features is a triumph, complex yet endearing and a surprisingly easy -- though intoxicating -- listen.

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