steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Ed Hale And Transcendence

"Rise And Shine" CD


Genres: pop, rock/pop

405 E 51st St, #2D
New York, NY 10022

July 22 - 28 2002

Well well well, isn't this professional? The U2-esque cover art immediately put me off of this, before I had even given it a shot. I hate U2 and U should 2 - ha ha ha. But seriously, the clichéd shot of the five band members standing on a cloud reminded me a bit too much of the so-called "Greatest Band in the World". Really, if you're going to release a fancy, glossy CD like this, there's no reason to propel yourself to a God-like stature by placing yourself in the sky above all the "regular" people. We get enough shameless arrogance in the mainstream scene as it is. But, enough of my inconsequential rant. The truth is, in actuality, that Rise And Shine isn't all that bad. In fact, it's rather good. Don't get me wrong, this isn't one of those amazing pop discoveries - it's just a good, hearty record.

"Love Is You" is a prime example of Hale's style. His voice is there, singing over familiar guitar chords and normal drum patterns, and it all seems to work. When the devilishly catchy chorus comes in, you may be surprised to catch yourself - shock! horror! - singing along. This is the style that characterizes most of the album, with the most notable track being "Better Luck Next Time", an energetic blast of pop that sounds as if it should be played really loud in a packed arena (and I say that in the best way possible).

Parts of this album are very catchy, yet the shameless über-production that was used, and the overly glossy Ed Hale™ image, will pretty much prevent this from ever achieving success on the indie scene, which is a shame really, because it seems that Hale has some good ideas to share. Maybe next time.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 64 min 13 sec; 17 tracks; distributed by Insound; released 2001]