It seemed inconceivable that Houston's King's X
would ever top the brilliance and originality of their debut, but 1989's Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
did just that, taking their unique sound to unprecedented heights of invention and inspiration. With its interweaving vocals, ominous bass riff, and sitar flourishes, the dark "Out of the Silent Planet" truly sounds not of this earth. Even more stunning is the band's immediate about-face into the joyous gospel fervor of their signature song, "Over My Head," a celebration of music fit for any Sunday congregation. Anyone finding fault with the band's Christian beliefs will certainly be silenced by the televangelist-bashing "Mission" and the Galileo homage "Pleiades." And although the dreamy "Summerland" and the guitar-driven "Send a Message" are somewhat reminiscent of the first album's "Goldilox" and "King," respectively, each still stands on its own merits. The band's fantastic vocal harmonies lead the way on "Fall on Me" and "Everybody Knows a Little Bit of Something," and "The Burning Down" provides a perfect, mysterious parting shot.