This two-disc set marks just over ten years since Alpha first exploded onto the indie techno-trip-pop scene with Come From Heaven. My first experience with Alpha was a slice of heaven, as I found little pretense in the soft-spoken vocals and appropriate melodies. Alpha is the kind of group you'd think you can stay faithful toward over the years, and they should have surpassed the product that appears on The Sky Is Mine.
The group is a duo comprised of Corin Dingley and Wendy Stubbs; Stubbs provides all the vocals, and her voice is often the most attractive thing about the songs - dark in tone but not too murky, and light in texture without being fluffy. The songs themselves are OK, but they mostly seem like variations on the same theme, and the variations don't vary much: "Burn Me Again,"(purchase/download) "Given Time," "May," and "For the Wages" are all dark and quiet and not terribly interesting. "Stargazing" (purchase/download) evokes 1960s pop in a good way, while "Surely" does the same in a slightly seasick way. The album's best track, "Home," (purchase/download) starts out unpromisingly with a slightly out-of-tune piano, but then slowly builds in intensity and interest.
The second disc is more interesting, mainly because half of it consists of beefed-up remixes of songs from the regular program (the other half is bonus tracks which are also, ironically enough, mostly more interesting than the main album). The best thing about this release, perhaps, is that is a worthy addition to the band's catalog but probably not a must-have for anyone except die-hard fans.
Released February 2008 on Cat N Roof Records.