Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Words & Music
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Words and Music is the the 2008 album by Hale, an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. This is Hales' fourth album (and third U.S. release) under his longstanding nom de disc Aqualung, and it ha... more »
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Words and Music is the the 2008 album by Hale, an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. This is Hales' fourth album (and third U.S. release) under his longstanding nom de disc Aqualung, and it has the feeling of a series of deep emotional truths whispered in confidence. Hales co-produced with his brother and musical right-hand man Ben, who also provides guitar, bass and harmony vocals, and co-wrote several songs, and it is the product of an extended period of soul-searching that caused the artist to seriously reexamine his career priorities, after a life that's been spent making music. "Music can be an amazingly potent thing," says Matt Hales, aka Aqualung. "When I sing into the microphone in the studio, I'm whispering my secrets in people's ears. When it connects, it can be so powerful. It's still a remarkable process to me."
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3.5 Stars... Matt Hales retreads from "Memory Man"
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 10/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In March, 2007, Matt Hales (the one-man band behind Aqualung) released an epic album "Memory Man", which was one of my "best of 2007" albums, and which I thought might position Aqualung to greater commercial/mainstream success. But alas, it didn't happen, despite several outstanding tracks. Now comes the next Aqualung album, seemingly out of the blue (I picked it up today while shopping at my record store, I had no idea that a new album was on the way).
"Words and Music" (10 tracks, 43 min.) is first of all not to be confused with the Hugh Grant movie soundtrack of last year.... That cleared up, I was quite surprised by the overall tone of the album. No "Cinderella" or "Pressure Suit" to be found on here. Instead, the album opener "7 Keys" is a very low-key affair, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The Paul Simon cover of "Slip-sliding Away" is pleasant but nothing ear-catching. The intimate songs follow, and "On My Knees" is just about the only up-tempo song on here. I don't understand where Matt Hales is going with this album. "Memory Man" set the table for a more forceful sound, and Matt Hales has retreated from it on this album. This is not a 'bad' album, but I was disappointed by it, period.
I saw Matt Hales/Aqualung on the "Memory Man" tour last year, and then it seemed clear to me that even bigger things were to follow. But "Words and Music" has not fulfilled that promise. Strange album. Not bad, but not that great either. Color me disappointed."
Maybe you won't "fall on your knees" for this one, but it mi
Diego Rodrigues | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Matt is back and so is the incomparable exquisite writing, perhaps one of the best songwriting of his generation. While I agree with some that "Words and Music" seems more like a detour than a new venue for Aqualung's future, it is a beautiful detour. "Everything Changed" indeed since Memory Man. One of the best qualities of Aqualung is that he rejects the impulse to recreate the magic of the last great song and travels towards melodic riddles.
"When I Finally Get My Own Place" is high up there with other intuitive songs about the anticlimactic experience of adulthood. "Mr Universe" made me think of the Beatles for obvious reasons (the beat, the harmonies, Matt's falsettos) but also because it had the goofy, jovial quality that we can seem on Aqualung's persona but don't get to hear through his songs. It made me think of the White Album. Strange, I know !
"Good Goodnight" is a great example of how most of these songs could've been little love notes. The good old "Love is the answer" quality of Aqualung's songs are well represented by this track. If you are also a musician, you got to appreciate how Aqualung has allowed himself to include longer and longer solos and chops of his great talent.
True; no "Pressure Suit" or "Something to Believe" this time. No great track to keep on singing way past your ipod batteries died. However, whether you are a die hard fan like I am, or you just discovered Aqualung...there is something fundamentally..."vanguardish" (yeah, I just said vanguardish) about it. Buy the Album. Listen once and once again. Listen it over tea. Listen it in the way home.
This album is a detour after all. That does not mean it can't lead those that love great music...home.
Amazing...Perfect....other synonyms for earth shatteringly b
Max Power | 10/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't tell you enough how good this album is. Probably his most focused work to date, and one of the most genuine albums I have ever heard. It's stripped down, yet has an incredible incorporation of eclectic instrumentation. "7 Keys", "On My Knees", and "Nothing Else Matters" are probably the finest songs he's ever released, the Paul Simon "Slip Sliding Away" cover is breathtaking and aches with realism, and the beginning of "Arrivals" gives me chills (actually the whole song does). This song will reaffirm your hope in songwriting, music, and humanity in general. Please Listen."