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)


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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