20070812

Ari Breaks In


Apparently I'm on an approachable pop swing. I'll be back to my indie ways in no time. The New Pornographers' new record is fast-approaching so keep your eyes peeled for my thoughts on that. Until then, Mr. Ari Hest will easily fill the void. I finally got my mitts on a hard copy of his major label debut The Break-In.

I've been listening to Ari since midway through college, about the time I found out about John Mayer. At the time, both were on a similar trajectory, playing well-crafted but safe acoustic rock that could be heard reverberating through dorm halls across campus. John is ultimately more skilled and has matured exponentially faster, obviously catapulting him to the tip of pop culture's tongue. Ari, however, has paid his dues like most earthly musicians are required. He's played the college circuit many times over, small clubs, opening gigs, selling CD's mostly on the road, building a loyal grassroots fanbase along the way. Meanwhile, his music has matured as well. This record is infinitely more focused than previous offerings I own and has a lot of character and heart.

I have no idea how this album is selling or if it's getting much, if any, airplay. The Break-In may end up being his only major label shot, but if it is, it's a very good one. His smoky voice is entirely unique and only emboldened by his confident and silky falsetto. His guitar work is full of thoughtfully formed chording even on the usually cliche progressions, occasionally dipping into something more angular and syncopated. It's a well-rounded LP with beautiful album art. Keep buying music, people.

Listen:
When and If
Bird Never Flies
[from The Break-In|buy]
Terms and Conditions
[from Come Home|buy]

2 Comments:

Anonymous Rob said...

actually, this is Ari's sophmore record in the major label world. his 2004 record "Someone To Tell" was re-released by Red Ink/Columbia Records a few months after it's initial indie release....it flopped like a fish out of water.

glad to see he gets a second chance though. I think he's got a great songwriter in him somewhere. but his production team on "Someone To Tell" pushed for the pop radio side of things and it came out sort of eh.

his 2006 EP "Green Room" was amazing. so I have hope.

4:47 PM  
Blogger drewcif said...

you're totally right my friend. I have that record, forgot it was also re-issued on Columbia. And wow, did it fall flat. Some great tracks on it, though.

3:41 PM  

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