Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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His Name Is Alive

  • Home Is in Your Head [4AD, 1992] Neither
  • Mouth By Mouth [4AD, 1993] A-
  • Stars on E.S.P. [4AD, 1996] A-
  • Nice Day [4AD, 1997] Dud
  • Ft. Lake [4AD, 1998] Neither
  • Always Stay Sweet [4AD, 1999] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Home Is in Your Head [4AD, 1992] Neither

Mouth By Mouth [4AD, 1993]
Proudly eclectic, reflective, and obscure--hell, arty--Warren DeFever's concession to rock normality is mood music for more moods than you'll first believe are there, including plenty of sex for the polymorphously inclined. Think Big Star's Third as witting aesthetic strategy rather than failed attempt to make the world go away. DeFever adds an electric flaneur's world-music collection and an extra coupla decades of pop-studio perversity to the sonic palette. Karin Oliver sings as if being pretty is a spiritual attainment. A-

Stars on E.S.P. [4AD, 1996]
Warren DeFever is the cook, but don't expect extra helpings from his side projects. HNIA's artistic flavor, half homespun mysticism and half hermetic cutes, is all in Karin Oliver's cunning, simplistic verbal/vocal content. And the whole exercise in fey sexuality and childlike quietude would fall slightly flat without its greatest hit--three takes on a Woody Guthrie tune about how he was even more alienated than they are. A-

Nice Day [4AD, 1997] Dud

Ft. Lake [4AD, 1998] Neither

Always Stay Sweet [4AD, 1999] Dud