Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kip Шiиgεя - From The Moon To The Sun (2008)

Kip Winger occupies a curious place of reference in the mind of those who might know who he is. The singer made his chops as a younger man through his initial associations with Alice Cooper as part of his backing band in the early 80's, and by 1990 was charting big on MTV as frontman to "wimp-metal" band Winger. Cut to the the mid 90's, however, and you'll see that Winger wasn't exactly high on anybody's radar thanks to grunge and stuff. 1993's Pull alienated existing audiences due to its lack of hair-metalismz, followed by most of their audience forgetting who they were in the first place and hopping on more contemporary bandwagons. Tough luck kids!

Taking all that into consideration however, the fact that Mr. Winger has made such a hellishly impressive alternative/prog./world/metal/pop solo record all by his lonesome self....and nearly 15 years after his heyday on top of all the more astounding. Lyrically there's nothing to really write home about, but the arrangements and hooks and songwriting elements result into something that is more than the sum of it's parts -- a conventional album that does what it does so well that it breaches into the fabled realm of being a potential modern classic. It follows many well-tread places, yet ends up by the end of the journey somewhere different than its predecessors.

This album's reference points are nicely spread yet traceable, inspired to some degree by loveable daffs like Peter Gabriel, Sting and the ever underrated Kevin Gilbert. Unlike recent output from folks like Sting or Gabriel though, the songs in From The Moon To The Sun run the listeners through quite a few good ideas despite the overt mid/downtempo feel of things. Several crackin' alt. rock songs are to be found here of course ['Every Story Told', 'One Big Game'] but there are also some real stunners like the string-led instrumental 'Ghosts' and two six minute pieces that might bring Porcupine Tree or It Bites to mind ['Pages and Pages', 'Why'], emphasizing how much Kip has matured as a songwriter since his MTV days. There's also plenty of Middle Eastern elements scattered about for you people who like exotic crap too.

Ergo, I'd say this album needs more exposure since it checks more boxes than it has any right to. It's beautiful, infectiously predictable and mindblowingly unpredictable in equal measure, and when all is said and done probably the single best chilled out alternative rock album on the planet. Take it or leave it!

Listen Here - "Every Story Told"

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