Aug 19, 2012

AARON ENGLISH - "All The Waters of This World"

Aaron English is a North-American keyboardist, singer, and song-writer based on Seattle who has been raising his musical career since 2002. His influences include an assortment of different artist and styles, like “Peter Gabriel”, “Led Zeppelin”, “Dave Matthews Band”, “Paul Simon”, “Bjork”, “The Police”, “Sting”, “Pet Shop Boys”, “George Michael”, “Tears for Fears”, “Coldplay”, “Nine Inch Nails”, “Kaya Project”, “Peter Murphy”, “Ours”, “Bettie Serveert”, “Greg Brown”, “David Gray”, “Emmett Tinley”, “Robin Tymm”, “Afro Celt Sound System”, “Ayub Ogada”, “Daniel Lanois”, “The Actual Tigers”, “Elbow”, “Bluetech”, “Neil Finn”, “Steve Earle”, “Sade”, “The Blue Nile”, and “My Morning Jacket”. With this background, Aaron English is not an authentic representative of the Progressive Rock genre, fitting better under the tags of “World Music”, “Electro-Acoustic”, or “Refined Pop-Rock”. To date, A. English has released three independent albums: “All The Waters of This World” (2002); “The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon” (2007); and “American [Fever] Dream” (2010). The later was produced by fans that supported A. English after his tour bus and musical equipment were destroyed in a highway accident during the 2008 National Tour (on which the band was presenting an incredible double-version of “The Beatles”  “Norwegian Wood” with “Led Zeppelin’s” “Kashmir”, with flutes in a “Jethro Tull” style - check it out at Youtube!). As a musician, Aaron English belongs in the same category of many artists that will always remain loyal to their own musical style, relying on meaningful lyrics and high-quality musicianship to gather a solid fan-base, eventually reaching a cult-status. As a singer and song-writer, Aaron English may be compared to “Peter Gabriel”, “Peter Hammill” (“VdGG”), “Paul Simon”, “Jeff Buckley”, “Cat Stevens”, “Lou Reed”, “Sting”, “Neil Young”, “Ian Anderson” (“Jethro Tull”), and “Brendan Perry” (“Dead Can Dance”). A. English’s debut, “All The Waters of This World” (2002) contains 11 tracks featuring participation of many musicians. The nucleus is composed of Aaron English (vocals, pianos); Patrick Strole (guitars, hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki, percussion); Meredith Yayanos (violin, vocals); Miguel Mateus (electric bass); and Don Gunn (drums, percussion, programming). A multitude of additional musicians plays diverse instruments, from the most usual to the most exotic (see below). With this abundance of instruments and talented people, “All The Waters of This World” constitutes a first-class ticket to a voyage around the world, with scales on the American West, the Old Continent, the Middle Eastern, the Spanish Caribbean and the Afro-Brazilian axis. A multi-cultural brew cooked in an “Electro-Acoustic” oven, and served with elegance and style. English’s main instruments are the piano, which he plays fashionably, and clear-cut; and his matured voice, which he uses as a vehicle for his emotions. The rhythmic section is an important component of his music, employing many exotic instruments and beats; orienting the songs on the geographic musical map, setting the right mood for English’s bittersweet voice. Along the record, diaphanous guitars, oriental violins, and assorted ethnical instruments appear frequently. Transmitting a lively energy, the first song, “Sea of Nectar“, rely on the use of Latin percussion, vivid pianos and bouncing bass lines that bring dancing waves from the Spanish Caribbean. That song contrasts with the introspective character of A. English’s piano ballads: the soaring “Deep Blue Quiet Places“, the country “All The Waters of This World“, the sad “Very Very Heavy“, the bittersweet “Santiago“, and the romantic and mellow “Lullaby“, featuring a beautiful female second voice. But my favorite songs are those that appeal to the exotic Orient, making extensive use of Middle Eastern percussion and ethnical instruments, recalling “Dead Can Dance’s“ style: the magical “The Lullaby of Loneliness“ (with soaring female vocals and a lean to the “New Age”); “Ghost is Broken“ (which builds a bridge from Istanbul to the Australian desert through the haunting sounds of didgeridoos); “Flower of Lebanon“ (that is driven by Oriental violins and symphonic arrangements); and the amazing “Mandeleine“, an authentic one-thousand-nights song that I consider the album’s best. The album ends with the experimental “Animals Like Us“, a Trip-Hop driven by Afro-Brazilian techno-beats, reminiscent of “Massive Attack”. Although not oriented to the Progressive Rock fan, the music of Aaron English is rich both rhythmically and  harmonically, being impregnated of a cosmopolitan aura that makes it enjoyable for most musical lovers, being specially recommended for fans of “Peter Gabriel”, “Paul Simon”, “Dave Matthews Band”, “Dead Can Dance”, World and Electro-Acoustic Music in general.  Band members and collaborators involved with Aaron English are: Aaron English – Vocals, Pianos, Harpsichord, Mbira, Programming, Sampling, Percussion, Arrangements; Patrick Strole – Guitars, Hurdy-gurdy, Bouzouki, Percussion; Meredith Yayanos – Violin, Vocals; Miguel Mateus – Electric Bass; Don Gunn – Drums, Percussion, Programming, co-producer. Additional musicians: Aerin Tedesco – Vocals, Tenor Guitar; Rafe Pearlman – Vocals; Melissa Ruby – Vocals Percussion; Jesse Howard – Guitars; Renato Cerro – Charango, Flamenco Guitar; Curtis Chandler – Electric Guitar; Todd Howard – Electric Bass; Yaw Asare Amponsah – Percussion; Jason Strazzabosco – Agave Didgeridus; Marchette Dubois – Accordion; Costi Parvulescu – Violin; Jacob Humphrey – Cello and Mark Renner – Guitarron. If you like hear their music please visit Aaron English's MySpace page...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)