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Dancing With Aliens

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Album Review

With the release of Dancing With Aliens, UFO Jim created quite a singular piece of work. At first, it doesn't really seem so strange: kind of boogie/blues rock with celestial subject matter, delivered in UFO Jim's cross between Johnny Dowd and Stan Ridgway drawl. However, by the time you hit "Alien Portal," there is clearly something different going on. A drum machine kicks out a nearly hip-hop beat, the Hammond organ so prevalent on many tunes turns into a demented sampler, and UFO Jim solos with one of the strangest, most unearthly guitar tones ever heard, while saying "aliens" every once in a while, followed by crowd cheers. It's difficult to discern whether the strange production is a cheap necessity or sheer outer-space genius. "UFO's & Giant Insects" flirts with disco, with buzzing keyboards and Hammond giving it an almost gospel-like fervor. Lots of good Chicago references, too. Then there's "Kris Kringle Song," another disco-influenced number, featuring the divine holiday sentiment "I like the women/I like the blues/I like the drugs/And I like the booze." All this from a man who strongly resembles William Lee Golden, the bearded giant from the Oak Ridge Boys. This is an album that truly deserves special notice from folks interested in the far fringes of pop.

Dancing With Aliens, UFO Jim
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