Thursday, August 2, 2007

Reviews:: Aaron Schroeder Black & Gold

As you walk along the river with Aaron Schroeder on Call Out To Me, you might notice the lyrics of this song kind of sum up the response to Aaron's upcoming release - Black & Gold. It's no secret that the hype machine has changed how artist marketing works, but more importantly how bloggers work. Every young singer sounds like someone fantastic and after one song you will never be the same again. "He tells you he loves you and gives you a diamond. He calls you his angel." As post after post heaps praise on this young artist, you can't help but feel a bit misguided.

The innocent loving verse Aaron croons is a sad portrayal of how the Internet works. Aaron (like most new artists hoping to catch some ears) sent his record to a lot of people, and we've all jumped on (with good reason, as the record is a great listen). I mean, there are 20 or so posts in the last three days and the majority of them don't really actually accurately describe his latest effort. Black & Gold starts out with two floating summery 60's California power pop songs that grab a hold of you on first pass. On What We Don't Know, Aaron's vocals shimmer like the sun and the rich arrangement reminds me of some of the best work from Hammond Jr. solo release earlier this year. So it's not a surprise that a lot of the posts are dropping Voxtrot and the Smiths. The horns that accompany Fake Crimes ring out like shots in the night, but the two openers paint a very different picture from the rest of the record. Fans looking for the next twee icon aren't going to find him in Aaron Schroeder.

Hopefully people are looking for more than that, because the rest of the record actually showcases Schroeder's stronger skills. He's a talented musician with a fresh perspective on the song writer experience and a voice that makes you shuffle closer. A gentle acoustic riff starts the song, but as he breaks into the foot stomping Emmylou, you start to see where his styles fit. The guitar noodling and country tinges he uses seem more natural and comfortable. He slows his pace on the steel dripped All Along the Day, but the summery harmonies really keep this song from weighing you down. The southern stomp of The Mississippi Line spikes the pace and adds gentle piano twinkles in just the right spots.

He crafts solid arrangements and turns phrases that show a maturity greater than his age should allow. He's old enough to be good, but young enough to make you wonder how far he can go. The album highlight is the penultimate track, Call Out To Me. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, it’s a dusty, love soaked confessional that makes you realize this charming man is blazing a new trail, not trying to follow along the one Moz and Marr followed.
MP3:: Call Out To Me

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Posted at 4:43 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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