Ed Hale and the Transcendence

Sleep With You

Ed Hale and the boys deliver 13 tracks (plus bonus material) on this follow up to 2002's worldly Rise and Shine. Sleep with you is darker (Junkie, Vicodin) and rocks harder (I'm not the only one, Sleep with you) than its predecessor. Its mood is at once passionate and romantic (Beautiful one, Veronica) and cheeky (Minnie Driver, Girls) and fun (Super hero girl). Gone are the multi-cultural world-music leanings as the band delivers over the top alt-rock and brit-pop ear candy dressed up in beautiful melodies and soaring guitar. This is the heaviest the band has ever sounded, and the most authentic as a "rock band" as evidenced by the pounding bass and drums on almost every track that warrants such. Not that Sleep with you is all rock. As much as it rocks, its not. Guilty is as radio friendly pop as you can find, and Keep moving on could be an alternate track from U2's All that you cant leave behind. The album closes with the delicate and gorgeous fire-side ballad Little tree, and then explodes into a thunderous one chord anthem complete with Zeppelinesqe strings and some seriously head-spinning guitar before trailing off into dreamy samples and feedback.

Credits:

Recorded between June 2002 - February 2003 at Dungeon Recording Studios, Miami, FL Produced by Fred Freeman and Ed Hale Musicians: Ed Hale - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards Ricardo Mazzi - Drums, Percussion, Machines Jon Rose - Pianos, Keyboards, Machines, Vocals Fernando Perdomo - Guitars, Sitar, Theremin, Sound Effects, Vocals Roger Houdaille - Bass Guitars, Vocals Head Engineer: Fred Freeman Assistant Engineers: Manny Rodriguez, Michael "Lets Go" Lukacina Mixed by Jeremy DuBois & Fred Freeman Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering, NC Bass Guitar by Howard "Stro" Stroman on the songs Minnie Driver, Sleep With You, Beautiful One, Vicodin & Keep Moving On Zach Ziskin played Guitar on Keep Moving On & Vicodin Photography by Jill Kahn Drawings and Paintings by Veronica Saenz Art Direction & Digital Illustrations by Eduardo Silva All songs arranged by Transcendence

Reviews:

"While all that glitters is typically far from gold, the modern rock group Transcendence gleams a luminescent shade of platinum. To these guys, glam rock didn't just pop in for a visit on the 21st-century zeitgeist -- it took up residence on the couch and moved all of its silver unitards into the front-hall closet. Transcendence kick up a glorious smashy-trashy mascara-rock riot on their sophomore outing, stuffing each cut with more oh-yeahs and uh-huhs than is currently permissible by most state laws. From the sound of singer/guitarist Ed Hale's dirty 'n' sweet post-coital crooning, Transcendence have learned that the best rock and roll comes not from the heart but from the crotch. While Hale is a skilled mockingbird who can pull off convincing impressions of Bowie, Lou Reed, Robert Plant, and Scott Walker, he does a pretty mean Ed Hale, too, borrowing from his influences without slavishly aping them. "Vicodin" builds from a bleeping synth doodle into a vintage '70s-Bowie show-stopper, "Minnie Driver" stalks its titular prey in silver six-inch platform moon boots and the seven-minute "Junkie" explores the heretofore overlooked link between Lou's "Heroin" and U2's "All I Want is You". -Steve English, SPLENDID MAGAZINE 4 out of 5 stars **** "Simply put, this is train-wreck music, music by and for ambulance chasers. Ed Hale and Transcendence don't seem to know what year it is musically. Imagine Sleep With You as the place where raw, inelegant lyrical confessionalism and irony (think a stoned-out, linguistically-restricted Rufus Wainwright meeting an Andrew W.K.) employ the razor-wire guitars and synths of Billy Squier and the catchy hooks and amped-up drums of Cheap Trick and you get an idea of this luxuriantly wasted slab's sound. On top of this, there are songs that aren't so much songs as reports from the front of post-'90s decadence as proffered by rock & rollers who wish they were Bob Welch on the cover of French Kiss. Half the fun of listening to Sleep With You is trying to figure out if Hale is serious in his macho-tinged foppishness, which would make him _______ (fill in the blank), or if he's just laying the bad jokes out hot and heavy like Bill Nighy's character Billy Mack in Love Actually trying to cash in and get laid. From the overblown volume of most of the songs or the lyrical minimalism of "Vicodin" to the completely dunderheaded fluff of "Superhero Girl," to "Minnie Driver," this feels like rock & roll from the Paris Hilton set out to lunch, out of time, and unconcerned about anything but their own vanity. So yes, it's deluded and occluded, but it still rocks like nothing else out there. Get it." - Thom Jurek, ALL MUSIC GUIDE
4 out of 5 Stars **** "What's it all about? U2 and Moby aren't the only musicians these days protesting against Bush, war and whatever else is on the docket. The indie music scene has Ed Hale (lead singer for the band Transcendence), who's been involved in the 2002 peace march in Washington, DC, and who put a heartfelt post on the anti-war website www.ourmessagetotheworld.us that supports the impeachment of Bush. So when Hale's not rallying against the government, he's making music with guitarist Fernando Perdomo, bassist Roger Houdaille, keyboardist Jon Rose and drummer Ricardo Mazzi -- collectively known as Transcendence. Sleep With You is the 2003 album of the band named as the Best Indie Artists of 2002 by Big Time Talent Show Organization. The album is riddled with songs about sex (such as the simply titled Girls), drugs (check out the appropriately titled Junkie) and ... Minnie Driver. We say: Their music is catchy - it's got an old-school rock sound. Hale's lyrics are those from a world of beautiful dreamers, and he's got the voice to carry the meaning even further. Check out the John Lennon/Yoko Ono feeling on the album's cover, which features a half-naked Asian chick and a shaggy-haired musician in a bedroom. Randy, baby. Randy." - http://www.pulseweekly.com
"Transcendence is derived from the word transcendent, meaning: "Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme." When you hear Sleep With You for the first time, you may just agree that the name is somehow fitting. From top to bottom, from Track 1 to Track 13, this album is good. So good in fact, that radio can’t even agree which songs to play. The FMQB Specialty panel has aired "Sleep With You," "Superhero Girl," "I’m Not the Only One," "Minnie Driver," and "Vicodin." Add to those cuts FMQB favorites including "Girls" and "Junkie" ... well, I could go through the disc song by song, but a track listing is already on the album. Let's agree that Sleep With You is a solid album; let’s agree to disagree on the reasons why. From intelligent lyrics to smooth guitar rhythms to solid instrumentation to the way Ed Hale’s sonic voice fills each track, the bottom line is this album is worthy of your time. It has already hit the albums chart, and we're betting it's at the beginning of the journey, and not the end." -Drew Kondylas, SUB MODERN BEST BET
5 Stars out of 6 ***** "You take 5 guys that have obviously spent too much time on the beach, give them instruments and microphones, and you will have Transcendence. These are the same guys that used to try and sneak a peek in the girls change room in school. The same guys who live, eat, breath and dream about sex. Sleep With You may be filled with sexual overtones, but also produces some of the best new indie rock in America right now. Imagine what The Knack would sound like if they started their band today rather than in the 1970s. This is great explosive modern rock with a blast of 90s flair running rampant through the midst of it's soul. Lyrics that tell about drug use, sex, sex, sex, and peace are the order of the day, and these guys know what the doctor ordered. The sound is incredibly tight, while remaining unpredictable, but likeable. Comparisons to other bands simply wouldn't be fair here. Put your headphones on, crank the volume and enjoy! You won't get arrested for simply listening, the world hasn't gone back to the dark ages yet! The CD is filled with wondrous hooks, strong compelling vocals, sci-fi movie sound effects and plain and simple good music. The brightest tracks are "Sleep With You", "Superhero Girl", "Junkie" and "Watching Shira Cry", but the entire disk is worth checking out. Indulge yourself and enjoy the trip." -From www.rikksrevues.com
"To fully appreciate the depth of Transcendence's new record "Sleep With You", you must get past the ultra catchy pop rock songs like Sleep With You, Superhero Girl & Minnie Driver before you can dig deeper into the troubled soul of singer/songwriter Ed Hale on the Radiohead-like Vicodin or the seven minute Lou Reed/U2-like Junkie. But the album's true gem is the Queens of the Stone Ageish I'm Not the Only One which features Fernando Perdomo's sonic guitar assault, and keyboardist John Rose's haunting Rhodes melody." - Fred Freeman: Producer, Dashboard Confessional, etc..
"Transcendence: Sleep with you (TMG), A sonic melting pot of Bowie, U2 & a sprinkling of Lou Reed, Transcendence have just released their new album, "Sleep With You", the follow up to last year’s "Rise and Shine". The album is an amazing array of beautiful melodies, catchy lyrics & pop hooks sure to please both Radio & Live audiences alike. Currently the CD has climbed up to #23 on the Modern rock specialty show charts and is in rotation on over 400 college radio stations around the US. Emphasis tracks, "Minnie Driver", "Im not the only one" & "Superhero Girl." - NOTORIOUS
Transcendence's Sleep with You took a few listens to get accustomed to, both lyrically and musically. First off, the album's title basically sums up the content here in a nutshell -- the concepts of love, sex, and the beauty of women are the only topics taken into consideration on this album. The album art features various (tastefully done) photos of a topless model posed around a bedroom setting, while the inside album fold-out features quotes about love from Leo Tolstoy and Andre Gide. At times, the album can get a bit on the raunchy side (in "Girls," frontman/guitarist Ed Hale rambles through a list of characteristics about women he's known before dropping the bomb, "Jacquie gave me my first blowjob backstage before a show"), though the few times the band dips into that territory, it seems that it's done in good spirits and fun, managing to come off as light-hearted and playful instead of exploitative. Mostly, though, the album serves as an altar that allows Hale to worship the concept of interaction with women - as many women as possible, so it seems. The exception is the mid-album combo of "Vicodin" and "Junkie," which quite obviously deal with a different subject matter. Musically, Transcendence's basic sound seems like something an audience could've heard on rock radio in the mid-to-late 90s. Sleep with You is very guitar friendly, with a lot of squalls and solo work splashed amongst its 13 tracks, and the production work is clean and sharp, giving the album a very bright, strong tone. What gives the album its personality is Hale's vocal style, which is completely dissonant to the polished nature of these songs. The first thing that came to mind was Stephen Malkmus' vocals with Pavement, though it seems that the best example to explain the band's vocal/musical stylings would be David Bowie's Tin Machine project - that music was bright, tight, and well-produced, though Bowie's vocals really just croaked along above everything. The self-titled opening track is a strong rocker completely dominated by the guitar riffing; Hale's lyrics are laugh-inducing, though ("I don't want to get to know you, girl / But girl, I'd really like to show you that I don't really care girl, whatever we do / Just as long as I end up sleeping with you … I will give you jewelry / I can give you a ring / Just let me in your pants -- I'll give you anything") -- between lines like that and the massive guitar break, this one carries the ‘arena rock’ flag through and through. "I'm Not the Only One" is an awesome slab of dark pop (the subtle, understated rhythm guitars chug along to amazing effect), while "Minnie Driver" is a cute ode to the actress. The sprawling, demented "Junkie" takes a while to completely unwind, though the experience is worth the seven-minute listen. If there's a weak spot to Sleep with You, it's that a lot of the slower material comes off a little weak; "Watching Shira Cry" is a powerful exception, though, coming off like something U2 could play if Bono wrote songs about girls he'd dumped before. Somehow, though, after a few listens, the vocal tonalities become less of a distraction and more a unique anomaly; it becomes obvious at a point that super-clean vocals just wouldn’t be doing justice to the lyrical content here. That being said, Sleep with You is remarkably good for what it is - a straight-up rock album that proves that ‘concept’ albums don’t have to tell stories to be interesting and engaging. Recommended listen. - Gary Blackwell, 1/12/2005
Miami's Transcendence melds Brit pop styles including a healthy touch U2 with a more American slant on alt rock laced with welcome songwriting quirks. The guitar fueled power rock of the title track, the atmospheric but intense "Junkie" and the coyly humorous hook laden "Minnie Driver" display some of the more diverse personalities. The writing is fresh and the vocals are particularly delectable, creating songs that are well structured and very enjoyable. - IndieGo
Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck 5/16/2004 Transcendence wants to Sleep With You, well maybe not literally, just with the girl on the cover. What I mean by that is that they want their music to stick with you, like a tune in your head that doesn't exit until its lights out for the day. I can think of a few tracks on this CD that really caught my ear that way. The influence of artists like Velvet Underground & Lou Reed, Bowie, and U2 are obvious in their sound. In fact, my favorite track,"Girls," sounds like a dead on tribute to Reed and Low era Bowie (i.e. use of keyboards, theremin etc.) This band sings about sex-"Veronica" and "Girls"-drugs- "Vicodin" and "Junkie," then the rock 'n' roll fits in with everything else in between, including a recollection of one band member's first experience with oral sex backstage. It's all natural and flowing like a new day of sunshine…or drugs and sex -- whatever floats your boat. The cover art is provocative and eye popping to say the least, shot in breathtaking stark black and white. When you open the CD it is even more so, hell, the guitar man looks like he is ready to jump the bones of the young beauty that waits on the bed any second. It's somewhat hard not to think of it that way, but then again that is what they are trying to project, pure unbridled sex with rock music for a soundtrack, perfect. This band has oodles of talent and the kind that will shape and mold itself into something special, something that screams out-Here I am! They do that now as far as I am concerned, however with further development and getting all their ducks in row regarding every aspect of their music and the right people they can trust behind them, the sky is the limit. This is attention-getting music for many reasons; check off all of the above and file under alternative rock. I really like this band and their chances to attain a worldwide following soon. "Hello, Hello, is this thing on? Good." That is how "Sleep With You" should start because this is the rock and roll of unprofessional but talented hacks who don't care what people think of their music or their lyrics. Lead singer Ed Hale and the brilliantly wasted Transcendence are here to ROCK! Musically this is a mish mash of stoner guitars and overamped keys. Lyrically it is as sophomoric as it gets. If it were a joke it would be funny, but as it is a rock record it is just simplistic fun. Combining stadium quaking riffs and synths with whiskey toned balladry this record is sheer decadence. Think T.Rex meets Guns n' Roses with a touch of the Black Crowes and none of the self importance and you've got a pretty good idea. Why it even has a hot naked chick on the cover and songs about blowjobs from groupies and a chorus that goes something like "girls girls girls, girls girls girls, girls girls girls, girls girls girls." I am sure that Mr. Hale and the bunch started playing music in order to get laid, and I am pretty sure it works frequently, this disc is just that nasty. If you are looking for artistry and literate thoughtful lyrics look elsewhere. If you are looking for a great disc to pop in the dash on a road trip to the casino and an evening of debauchery than this is it. I don’t care if you have never heard of these guys, get this disc, get your ass to a keg and party like you have a pair. –Andy. http://www.orionsmusic.com/stuff/
High Bias Listening with extreme prejudice August 1, 2004 Sleep With You, the second offering from New York/Miami-based act Transcendence, could be easily dismissed as another example of mid-'90s cock rock debauchery, if not for its content. Distancing itself from the translucent seriousness that dominated corporate rock of the time, Transcendence instead immerses itself in irony, preaching casual sex, copious drug usage and salvation via self-absorption. It works, too, with songs like "Minnie Driver" (misogyny at its best, uh, I mean worst), "Junkie" and Sleep With You's title track. By the time you've made it through the first three or four songs, the idea is firmly there "We're loud, we're hedonistic and that's the way we like it" so further pondering is unnecessary. Mark Sanders
http://silentuproar.com/ TRANSCENDENCE, "SLEEP WITH YOU Reviewed by: Travis Mama told me to never judge a book by its cover. But when I received the record titled, Sleep With You which portrays a seductive bare-chested female on the cover, I formulated some questions. First, why is the man in the picture fondling the guitar? And second, will this be a disc of frivolous songs detailing the sexual conquests of a rock band? I can't answer the first question, but the answer to the second question is a resounding YES. In "Sleep With You," the album's opening track, fame is the aphrodisiac: "What can I do to Sleep with you / I can give you money / I can give you a car / I can call my agent and he'll make you a star.' In "Girls" a laundry list of previous "experiences" is recanted. My favorites: "Then there's Naomi she was my homey." And "Vicki gave me my first Hicki." Absolutely brilliant lyrics, agree? "Veronica," "Minnie Driver," 'Shira," and "Nahal" are lucky enough to have their own songs. I'm not so sure that's a good thing? But suppose the whole "I'm a rock star, and I get lots of ass" thing doesn't bother you. Well, there are moments of transcendence here as well... ha ha. Sleep With You is all over the place. "Girls" sounds like a Velvet Underground standard, while "Junkie" is another "yeah, were crazy rockers" song, with an eery post-Velvet Underground Lou Reed sound. "Beautiful One" is reminiscent of a David Bowie rock ballad. "Superhero Girl" and "Vicodin" straddle the line dividing David Bowie from Pete Yorn. "Minnie Driver" is just as kooky, but not as catchy, as "Stacy's Mom." While Sleep With You starts out as a pure rock record, it morphs into a 21st century studio feedback experimentation by the end of "Little Tree." Sleep With You doesn't re-invent the wheel or make the wheel go faster, but it does put Transcendence on the "we may have potential" radar screen. Maybe next time, they shouldn't try to kill so many birds with one stone. Hey, at least we know they're getting laid, right.