Although All Things Lucid has been putting out music since 2005, their latest album marks their first self-titled release. All Things Lucid keeps in true following with the band’s sound and style but ups the ante with a little something new. This was my first All Things Lucid album, so many of my observations may not be new or fresh from previous reviewers. A first listening experience can either make you embrace a band or disown them, and All Things Lucid was by far the former.
The band’s increasing fluency in sound captures you right away. Lead singer Miles Benjamin has one of the more unique voices in the Chicago area. It’s not smooth but it’s not caustic, not soft but not gritty. It’s not nasally, guttural, or throaty. It has it’s own category of timbre and quality that is rarely found but greatly liked. Benjamin’s voice on "Take it Easy Joe" and "The Lesson Learned" leads you in like a barker at a carnival into a song that will "astound the senses" or "boggle the mind." All Things Lucid has a certain bluesy quality mixed with good ol’ fashion rock and roll – none of that fake pop crap you hear on the radio that tries to pass as such – and Benjamin’s voice weaves easily between the band as well as the addition horn and string parts.
The recording quality is also fantastic and adds a lot to the band’s finished product. Since All Things Lucid is meant to be purchased on vinyl, each track has a warm sound with more definition than a digital release or CD could offer. Even just listening to it on your iPod you can get a true sense for the direction that All Things Lucid wanted to go with their sound. It’s rare to find a band that doesn’t want to slap a glossy coat of high-end production on their album with no regard for how it’ll affect their final product and call it a day. You can hear the extra effort All Things Lucid put into their album, and it makes a hell of a difference. A great album to kick of the New Year for Chicago music. – Amy Dittmeier