Eric Alexandrakis - "Here Comes the Snow!" (Y&T Music) Yet another Christmas album from the enigmatic Eric Alexandrakis. The opening title track starts with some country-ish violins, but mainly has that quirky pop sensibility of his other songs. As the violins show, Alexandrakis is varying his sonic palette a little more. Note the female backing vocals, accordian, and mandolin. All in all, a thoroughly delightful Christmas love song. Next up is "The Theme From the Motion Picture Stealing Christmas" which shows that Alexandrakis might have a future as a soundtrack composer. The beginning is total John Williams' "Home Alone," but Eric adds some signature touches (like accordian), making this a wonderful, varied overture for any Christmas occasion. Lastly, there's a "Karoake Mix" of Alexandrakis's previously released "All I Want for Christmas." It's another Christmas-pop (if that's a genre) masterpiece and fun to sing along with for those of us who already know the song. I don't really know why Eric Alexandrakis keeps releasing these curious, short Christmas-themed albums, but they're always a delight for me, and hopefully others will soon discover his quirky, charming music. -Adam Murphree Eric Alexandrakis (Y&T Music) [2001-ish?] And here we have yet another mysterious, apparently untitled album from do-it-all whiz kid Eric Alexandrakis. This disc features five songs, two composed by Eric and three which are apparently covers of songs I've never heard. Alexandrakis's own compositions come first, and display a typical goofy charm and intelligence. "Open Heart Surgery," the first, uses a multitude of heavily distorted instruments (including purposefully distorting vocals) delivery an actually beautiful and catchy pop melody. It's an odd combination, but that seems to be the point, and Alexandrakis pulls it off quite well. The next song is a rather nice song in the purely pretty camp, with only a few odd synth noises suggesting weirdness. The first cover, Pascal Obispo's "Ou Et Avec Qui Tu M'Aimes" begins with an odd, almost exotic organ part and Alexandrakis singing in French. As he moves to the chorus, I suddenly realize that this is a really gorgeous song. The processed vocals are still present, but the beauty of the song comes out most of the time (there's also a super-heavy middle section). The fourth song, Phillip Roebuck's "Little King," presents a more folk-like sound, with some lovely falsetto vocals. Eric ends with Darren Hayman's "I Love Only You" - a more uptempo hard rocker featured heavily processed EVERYTHING. Eighties rock of such type is the best reference point, except imagine it played through a rack of effects. Eric Alexandrakis has put out another quirky album, all right. While being extremely accessible, nothing else seems to sound much like these bizarre little EPs he issues. Check them out. ~Job Dharma Murphree~
Eric Alexandrakis: I.V. Catatonia (CD, 71:15); Y&T Music, 4, 1999 E-mail: Angelpop72@aol.com Cyberhome: http://www.sonicsmoke.com/ericalexandrakis.html 10 words or less: Psychedelic pop concept album by one-man band Elaboration: The main sounds that are heard throughout this album are the strumming of a processed electric guitar and Eric's voice. The concept revolves around a period in Eric's life when he was hospitalized with Hodgkin's disease. For me the album has an overall feel of what Syd Barrett might have done if he had started in our post-New Wave era. I'm also reminded of the more Popish-sounding songs from Porcupine Tree as I listen to this work. The piece is laden with sound effects and there is some use of Bass Guitar but no Drums to speak of and very little Keyboards. If this description hasn't scared you off yet then I would imagine that you might appreciate this album. ~ L. Perez
Eric Alexandrakis, (a different kind of Christmas album) Well... this is certainly a different kind of Christmas album. Alexandrakis's untitled album (EP? Maxi-Single?) features four rather unique Christmas anthems. Eric (I'll try to avoid typing the last name again) did literally everything on this disc, unless you count one of the pieces of artwork on it. The music features a liberal use of samples and electronic modification, as well as keyboards and vocals. The production is quite good as these types of loner efforts go, although some instruments and voices occasionally sound undermixed. A song-by-song breakdown: "All I Want For Christmas is You" - Beginning with some electronic sfx, Eric breaks into a laid-back electro-drum groove before his vocals take over. The vocals are quite good and confident, and modified in various ways in such a manner that his humour (what's this about mind-control?) isn't initially apparent. The song features a wonderful, sing-along type chorus complete with sleighbells, continually building until the oddly powerful final refrain. "Christmas on the Moon" - More delicate, complete with celeste-like keyboards, this song is a good contrast and an equal to its predecessor. The lyrics seem to be more overtly goofy, but the vocals are extremely quiet initially, so it's hard to determined if he really is, for example, talking about vampires. "Santa Claus is Dead" - simply put, one of the funniest song's I've ever heard in a long time. While the production isn't quite as good on this track, the song is so hilarious any deficiencies are moot points. Chronicling the mysterious demise of St. Nick, the song twists and turns and finally ends up at a conclusion so ridiculous and silly I had to laugh aloud the first time I've heard it. Worth the price of admission alone. "Christmas Shopping Can be Stressful" - This is a disturbing sound collage that, while rather interesting, feels somewhat out of place on an otherwise lighthearted album. Although not incredible musically, Alexandrakis's Christmas album is simply too much fun to not have a hearty recommendation. ~Jon Dharma Murphree
To purchase this recording and get more info, soundclips, etc.
CLICK ON ARTIST'S NAME ABOVE
OR . . .
Please visit my BUY IT E.E.R. NOW INDEX PAGE
Please try my brand spankin' new
EER and AMAZON.com QUIK-LINKs
buyer's guide to recommended music.
go to my LINKS page and find the vendors' section.