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Heaven Ain't Happenin'

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Album Review

The second album from Chris Leo and Toko Yasuda, former members of the Van Pelt, is pretty much what anyone familiar with Leo should expect. The usual sparse musical arrangements and soft-spoken vocals heard on past projects permeate the album, and occasionally Yasuda takes over and lets out her own playful blast of inspired whispers and screams. Cryptic as ever, one would be hard-pressed to understand exactly what Leo is ever really trying to convey. Nevertheless, Lapse has the ability to put a strange hold on listeners. Some of the tracks' haunting arrangements seem like a glimpse into the duo's private lives, and others, including "Dragonflies," make Leo's plaintively yelped phrases seem so desperate that not listening could personally offend him. Another surprising track comes in the form of the Portishead sound-alike, "Fruit," a track on which these two prove that they have the ability to branch out in a surprising number of new directions. Heaven Ain't Happenin' is clearly a very personal album, but it also carries a great deal of raw power, and the recording itself is a fairly stripped down sound that only seems to emphasize the emotion of the songs. Lapse has yet to put out the record that firmly establishes them, but this collection is another step in the right direction towards a goal that seems to be getting much closer. ~ Peter J. D'Angelo, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Built on the strong partnership of bassist Toko Yasuda and guitarist Chris Leo, the Lapse formed late in 1997. Each of the partners had long histories in the world of independent music, with Toko Yasuda as a one-time member of the international avant-rock outfit Blonde Redhead, and Chris Leo's past with the New Jersey-based Van Pelt. The Lapse's sound can be understood through these histories, steeped in noisy, riff-oriented post-rock and cerebral lyrical eulogizing. Performing as a trio with a constantly...
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Heaven Ain't Happenin', The Lapse
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