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Heaven - “All Love Is Blue” (2018) review


Heaven - All Love Is Blue (Little Cloud Records, 2018)

As with All Love Is Blue, Heaven’s first album Telepathic Love also featured the word ‘love’ prominently in the title, causing me to wonder if there’s a theme being developed. Nevertheless, I found the first album to come across rather hauntingly mystified, as if it were hiding, requiring one to search it out, and feeling rather special with the vinyl tucked under my arm as I strolled down the sidewalk, oblivious to everyone, though with everyone taking note of me.

All Love Is Blue takes a different turn, and while still emancipated and filled with strolling swagger, the songs come off more as a lush pinball machine, where instead of moving through the crowd, one is sonically riveted in place, banging away on some unseen pleasure machine … and while that’s not a bad thing, I certainly had the feeling that my wings had been clipped in favor of a sinister dynamic electronic wall of sound that is both new, yet reminiscently familiar (think The Raveonettes).

There are no cushions on All Love Is Blue, the tribal drumming and hymnal vocals bring this release more close to something European in nature, than their New York City home, and as with the dream-pop initially laid down on Telepathic Love, where rather than delivering an intoxicated barbiturate high, I’m euphorically dancing in a trace laced with high octane MDMA, while living on borrowed time.

Heaven seem to be reinventing the shoe-gazing genre, moving those short lived aspects of the 90’s to center stage, where the band melds and morphs those fuzzed out reverb drenched notes into a present tense, though when tracks such as “Unbelievable” filter from your speakers, you might actually come to believe that they’re onto something new, something that will carry these folks forward and into the future. 

As to the band, Heaven has now reformed yet again, this time featuring Matt Sumrow on guitar and vocals, Mikey Jones again on drums, and this time out, with the addition of Liz Lohse on keyboards and vocals, with Liz seeming to be the catalyst for the turn in the road change in sound.

*** And it’s all delivered yet again on translucent blue vinyl, so perhaps there is a theme going on. With a limited edition of 300 copies, and no compact disc, it seems that Heaven itself wasn’t ready to back this release.

- Jenell Kesler
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