Presume that Alanis Morissette or PJ Harvey decided to move in a heavier, less singer/songwriter-ish direction and fronted a more metallic type of band -- a band that rocked forcefully yet was quite melodic and had some goth tendencies à la Evanescence as well as a healthy appreciation of Garbage and the Cranberries. Alev really does sound like that, and the Munich-based outfit pulls all of those influences together with promising and worthwhile -- if imperfect -- results on its first official full-length album, We Live in Paradise (which was available in Europe before Eclipse released it in the United States in April 2006). The Morissette and Harvey comparisons come into play because of female lead singer Alev Lenz, an expressive, hard-edged belter who -- like Morissette and Harvey -- oozes with angst. But in terms of the writing, We Live in Paradise is far from a carbon copy of Jagged Little Pill or, for that matter, Morissette's more recent efforts. Despite the Morissette-isms in Lenz's vocals, this CD is a lot more gothic -- and the Evanescence influence is obvious in the writing even though Lenz doesn't sound very much like Amy Lee. We Live in Paradise is not as consistent as it could have been; most of the material is memorable, although the band misses the mark on occasion. But We Live in Paradise has more ups than downs, and Alev are generally well served by the intriguing variety of influences that they bring to the table.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson