Strange & Beautiful





It's not too long that a record comes along and tugs at your heartstrings in a way like the new Aqualung record does. I had the pleasure of checking out the import a while back and seeing him on his first North American tour not too long ago. Aqualung doesn't stray far from his live shows on the album; both are charming, lovely and witty. Reminiscent of Thom Yorke, Chris Martin, and John Lennon; Aqualung (aka Matt Hales) manages to keep his own and create something beautiful. With songs like "Strange & Beautiful", "Brighter Than Sunshine", and the noisy-almost-electronic "Good Times Gonna Come" it is apparent that this album, which is a combination of his two imports, stands alone as possibly one of the best releases of the year. Yes, it would be easy to adopt the idea that this is similar to Coldplay, but don't let that cloud your perception. I am not knocking Coldplay in any way (I love them as much as the next person), but most bands that are compared to them just don't hold water. Aqualung does and while it might be similar (it is very piano based), it is also very different. What is amazing is that in true artist form, Hales wrote, produced, and arranged the album himself. Haunting and cinematic, Aqualung captivates the audience with lyrics like "I've been watching your world from afar/ I've been trying to get where you are". Although the album has been around overseas for a while, it still sounds fresh and relevant today. It is about time someone released this gem in the states!

Aqualung
Columbia

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Strange & Beautiful