With just a quick walk through any basic CD store, one can clearly see how set on categorization today’s music world really is. Quick to put every artist and album into a specific category, whether it be rap, punk, classical, worldly or rock, the music business is preoccupied with classification and individual groups’ obligation to cater to the business. With their third album, Nothing is Cohesive, the “unclassifiable” band Transcendence breaks barriers put in place by the category-obsessed world of music, presenting an artistically driven album that embraces a variety of music styles and genres.

Made up of prominent musicians in both the New York and Miami music scenes, Transcendence is ” … a group of five hyperactive, obsessive and insane guys with severe cases of ADD and an extreme passion for music, all running around trying to make sense of everything they are listening to, and each wanting to create their own personal artistic statements … ,” according to Ed Hale, the band’s lead singer. With the added talent of guitarist Fernando Perdomo, bassist Roger Houdaille, pianist Jon Rose and drummers Bill Sommer and Ben Belin, the band has produced a total of three albums, with Nothing is Cohesive, released last October, delivering the best blend of various genres.

Despite the album’s title, with Nothing is Cohesive, Transcendence presents a solid collection of songs unified by the consistent alterna-rock thread running through the album. The 13-track CD embodies the styles of everything from seventies glam rock to international sounds to a more classic, modern rock form. “Fusing such styles as Brazilian, r&b, rock, new wave and classical — among others — Transcendence creates a wild array of songs but somehow holds them together with a left-field bite.”

With a sound completely different from the band’s second album, Sleep with You, Transcendence’s latest CD release is raw and impassioned. Recorded in a soundproofed garage studio, Nothing is Cohesive presents a balance of upbeat and catchy songs and slower, more heartfelt ballads, all produced through mixing traditional musical equipment with new computer technology.

The best song on the album by far is “Tomorrow,” a unique variation of an old Paul McCartney song. With a seventies style, female backups, fun beat and a dramatic, almost show-tune, ending, “Tomorrow” adequately works to prove the band’s willingness to stretch themselves as musicians.

Also standing out on the album is “All This is Beginning to Feel Like an Ending.” With its emotionally charged lyrics and strong guitar lines, the song presents an honest and sad view of a failing relationship. “When both of us are down / Trying to paint the town / Alone / Waking up everyday alone / Trying to gauge your tone / By your messages on the phone.” In true Transcendence style, the heartfelt ballad is juxtaposed by the following track, “Revolution in Me.” The most modern sounding song included on the album, “Revolution in Me” delivers charged vocals and a steady, prominent beat. The vast contrast between the songs on Nothing is Cohesive serves to exemplify the unique nature and talent of the band as a whole.

With “styles to fit all who listen,” Transcendence takes the inspiration of the Beatles, U2, Radiohead, Beck and David Bowie and combines it with the band’s own unique styles. Going from mellow to energized and back again, Nothing is Cohesive exhibits chameleon-like qualities. With confident vocals, inviting guitar, piano and drum lines and honest lyrics, Transcendence prompts listeners to indulge themselves in the musical and lyrical richness that defines the band’s latest album endeavor.

Grade: AB

Original Article


Ed Hale is a master chef. He takes you into his kitchen with Nothing is Cohesive and drizzles sonic béarnaise on your brain. This writer has wondered since 1990 when Ed’s well of creativity would run dry – no one man could keep up the torrid flow of song from a single brain – and Nothing is Cohesive provides no clue that this could be imminent. Back to the kitchen: ‘Softening’ oozes delectably like a ripened triple cream brie. ‘Caetano’s’ heartfelt paean comes across so beautifully pained and sincere that one can almost dig the homo-erotic overtones without feeling like a fag. The “A side” single ‘Somebody Killed the DJ’ is the pastrami sandwich of the CD: thick, meaty, piquant, and slathered in a danceable and melodic mustard of the coarse, seeded (not exactly deli-style) variety…
Stu Stewart
Lobsters and Walruses
December 10th, 2004

SHOWY, BRIGHT, AND INVENTIVE, TRANSCENDENCE STRIKES A CHEEKY POSE CD Review Reviews: Ed Hale and the Transcendence ~ Rise and Shine
Posted on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 @ 05:46:22 EST
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Ed Hale and the TranscendenceCD: Rise and Shine (TMG REcords)
Home: Miami, Florida
Style: Rock
Quote: “Showy, bright and inventive, and strikes a cheeky pose in the process”.

By Heidi Drockelman
Rising up from the ashes of an almost industry-apocalyptic resurgence of bubble-gum pop, there are several artists who are putting their most confident foot forward and taking a leap into the “space oddity” air that Bowie left his footprint in years ago. In the golden age of glam it wasn’t uncommon to hear artists take risks in almost every song, pushing their own outer limits and pushing the listener to explore their own depths of tolerance and normalcy. Ed Hale and the Transcendence have taken a look back, a look forward, and incorporated this in their current musical vision.
Just the name of the band can speak volumes here, where the material coincides with a modern glam swagger to create the complete package. For so many artists, their image is all they really have – they don’t write their own songs, they barely perform live, and sure, they look good, but shiny pennies get tarnished with time. Ed Hale has taken a page from Bowie, Pulp, Iggy, and yes, U2, to reinvent the modern version of glam rock. While much of the material is showy, bright and inventive, and strikes a cheeky pose in the process.
The best material on this record reflects a sense of whimsy, sincerity and a fierce fight to remain true to the basic elements of what makes a good rock record. Songs like “Mother” (not Glenn Danzig, don’t get worked up now), “Better Luck Next Time”, and “Letter to a Friend”. There are also several forays into the hip-hop arena, although at times this combination seems forced, the effort and approach is still notable.
The fact is, while a few of the experiments in alchemy don’t always sit well with me, I appreciate and applaud Hale’s talent, willingness to take a risk on himself, and his audience. This is a different kind of rock record, and one that will grow on the listener after many spins because of its versatility and after a few listens, some of the songs you might not have been attracted to at first will suddenly click into place.
An interesting way to get to know Ed Hale, and I look forward to future releases. or