CD review: ALO, Man of the World (with video)

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ALO is signed to Jack Johnson’s Hawaii-based Brushfire Records, so ample doses of indie sunshine are a given. All four members take turns on lead vocals, and they genre-jump from one multi-layered song to the next, touching on piano pop, reggae-blues-funk, down-home folk and more. This dexterity speaks volumes about their musical range without ever becoming distracting. And Johnson’s subtle co-production influence can be heard, especially as when makes a guest appearance the intimately sparse "Gardener’s Grave."


While more structured than previous ALO albums, Man of the World is still essentially the fruit of a jam band, a spontaneous musical birth that must must be jaw-droppingly incredible to experience live.


ALO has a spark of uniqueness missing in so much of today's music, and Man of the World is a must-have. As they’re about to riff-off on an instrumental jam in "The Champ," they all yell, "Listen to my band!" And you'll want to. (Out now on Brushfire Records)


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Check out the making of video ad for Man of the World below.


Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) needs to get famous already. It’s frustrating to see a band with this much potential sucked under the industry rug by underexposure. Hopefully, the third release of the self-acknowledged funkateers, 2010's Man of the World, will find ALO reaping the rewards they deserve.

The opening and closing tracks of Man of the World are a rip-roarin’ good time – full of playful harmonies and sing-a-longs that often come off as a sort of Wilco-Wallflowers-Moody Blues jam party. But somewhere in the middle, the songs take a introspective turn, as if the guys were having a grand old time until someone got hurt and made them briefly re-evaluate their songwriting priorities. These four lush tracks will likely land on your "Meditative Road Trip Playlist."

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