[23 June 2008]
After leaving 4AD in 2002, it was another four years before we heard from the normally prolific His Name Is Alive. In 2006, they broke the silence, and in 2007, released no fewer than three records. Whereas Detrola and Xmmer typified His Name Is Alive’s ability to blend styles as disparate as jazz, soul, ballads, rock, and electronica, Firefly Dragonfly floats squarely in the realm of the hushed and ethereal. Starting off with “I Can See a Lot of Light in You”, a renamed cover of Sufjan Stevens’s “The Dress Looks Nice On You” marked by a delicate acoustic melody, a simple strum pattern, and airy vocals. “Come Out of the Wilderness” and “There’s Something Between Us and He’s Changing My Words” (a revisit to a song from 1991) follow the same unassuming template, only to slightly different tempo. The disc’s closer, however, a fourteen-minute harp/piano tribute to Alice Coltrane, often recalls a set of windchimes drifting in the breeze. It’s an appropriate end, as Firefly Dragonfly—recorded in the low-stress surroundings of the band’s living room—may be one of the least assertive recordings in His Name Is Alive’s catalog.