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Man On Fire - Habitat

Man On Fire - HabitatThis third album from Man On Fire has an interesting concept story to it. As the title suggests, Habitat is about ten people from a block of apartments in a urban city. Each one is different from a 'bad cop' to a 'priest', but it is safe to say, this could be turned into a film.

There are lots of sound effects between the twelve parts, and the booklet is packed with pictures of the characters, lyrics and the story on the first page. The lyrics were written by Steve Carroll, and they have the great imagination that take you to this block, and everything is set in place by Jeff Hodges who is the lead vocalist and the bands keyboard player. Other members include King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew, ex-Kansas member David Ragsdale on violin, Eric Sands on all basses and seven string guitar and on drums Rob Sindon.

The twelve tracks or parts all combine and are linked with the sound effects and make a total time of sixty-eight and a half minutes, and the style is a huge influence of jazz combined with electronic sounds. This can be described as adventurous in many ways, but in fact, it is very complex and has many melodic movements, and Adrian Belew's solo's breathe a lot of life into the concept.

Opening track The Block sets the scene before Mr. Lie (the corporate CEO) bursts into life. It has a late Beatles sound to it, while Jeff's voice has a unique feel to it, and on all the parts on the album. What The Canvas Hides tells the tale of the artist, and is a nice moving song, while the tenth part Never Lost has a nice ballad feel to it.

For me the final track, which is the title track Habitat, is the highlight of the album, with it's grand finale type of mood. The synths are quite high in the mix here, and the sound of the violin give this part a real lift. Then the closing sound of the car alarm being activated, and the person releasing a sigh ends the story.

This is a intelligent release and would appeal to most people who like the jazz feel. There are some great playing performances too, and well worth checking out the web link at the bottom of the page.

Danny Mayo

Man On Fire


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