On his fifth solo release, Rise (his first for the Velvel label), ex-Alarm frontman Mike Peters sticks close to the sound laid down on his previous solo release, 1996's Feel Free. Instead of returning to the Alarm's protest-filled punk rock, Peters' solo songs still tend to reflect the Beatles, which incorporate gently phased out guitar and mind-expanding lyrics (as heard on the tracks "Transcendental" and "In Circles"), while at other times reflecting another Beatles-influenced band, Cheap Trick (the album's title track). But the songwriting is consistently catchy and strong, with the tracks "Ground Zero," "You Are to Me," and "High On the Hill" being just a few of the album's highlights. The CD version of Rise contains three bonus tracks, including a remix of his interpretation of Grandmaster Flash's rap classic "The Message" (his original cover of the song appeared on Feel Free). Another solid release from Mike Peters, which will surely please longtime admirers.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato