Alpha – The Sky is Mine
What is this? 1996? Well, in a way, it is. Alpha have been around since the mid nineties and their music carries a great deal of that decade still: the good bits at least. The lush orchestration, the feeling of fun and sophistication, the big gestures, not to mention the rampant referencing of Bacharach et al, it’s all here in The Sky Is Mine.
Opening track Stargazing is a classic mix of big orchestration and kooky twists and turns aided by a great vocal that always sounds a bit weird. (The slightly nuts vibe is carried on in the tired and emotional groove-fest that is Surely). Brood is a glorious mix of a very famous Bjork riff, dreamy vocals and monstrously smooth orchestration that spirals ever up-wards. It’s one of the best tracks on the LP, but not the very best, that honour goes to Burn Me Again, which is an incredible if slightly camp Bond-esque torch song. It’s also a song of two halves; the first a candlelit reflection, the second a shuddering rehearsal for the Ride of the Valkyries.
Other tracks of note are the great one-two of Home, a soft and beautiful (if slightly overblown) lament and Stumbled, an über-lazy and ridiculously enjoyable piece of lounge that reminds this reviewer of Bongwater and the Sound Gallery in equal measure.
One to listen to in the private jet.
Words: Richard Foster