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Alexis Gideon: Flight of the Liophant

Alexis Gideon: Flight of the Liophant

Label:Sick Room
Release Date:2007
Genre:Indie Rock

By Ed Schrader | Posted 12/26/2007

Let's set aside the image of hot-pink ball caps and purple windbreaker pants--Alexis Gideon's sort of lumped in with the Day-Glo crowd--and focus on sincere intentions. Gideon is making one heck of an effort on Flight of the Liophant.

The Chicago expat and Princess alumni flexes a diverse pallet of themes and instrumentation over the course of this second release. At times you find yourself in the midst of an album that feels like a mantra-laden soundscape composed by Michael Gira ("Your Eyes," "Gone Goodbye"), other times you hear fashionably campy vocals conjuring the muses of XTC and Mike Patton ("Maybe it was May," "Light").

Things get a tad weighed down, however, by the occasional splash of fashion-mullet-safe OutKastian vocals that show up momentarily on tracks like "Waves in Waves" and "Liophant," distracting us from well-thought-out layers of shimmering horns, synth squeals, and prickling manic pianos. This isn't to say Gideon lacks the ability to combine such elements. He dashes some R&B vocal stylings at the tail end of the plaintive "She Sho," achieving poignant results.

That aside, the album rounds out quite well with "Green Room Tea Time" giving us a glimpse into a world where bright silver specs pass beneath a chanting Pet Sounds sun singing "la la la, la la la," and the final track, "Sweet Dream (For My Irish Lass)," plays like a genuine hymn, complete with bagpipes and splendid vocal harmonization. Alexis Gideon is honing in on his innate gifts here, and giving us a lot to look forward to.

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