Aqualung, AKA Matt Hales, did something very few artists are capable of doing on his last album, Strange And Beautiful. He managed to cross a fan base that included not only carpool toting soccer moms, but also even the coolest hipsters attended his shows and bought merch. Not an easy feat to do, but if things keep going in the way they are for the British artist, then 2007 is going to be an even bigger year for him than in the past.
On Memory Man, Aqualung still channels the ghost of John Lennon and the spirit of Thom Yorke and Coldplay, but he takes it up a notch from his previous effort. Cinematic and grandiose, the record opens with the tingling of a piano and blasting guitars on "Cinderella." The first single, "Pressure Suit," is up next and is more layered and full of passion than his past work. The same goes for epic "Something To Believe In." Then there is the delicate "Glimmer" that leads nicely into the Travis-esque "Vapour Trail." While the new LP does show Aqualung growing and testing new waters, he still does have a few of those quiet ballads in him that we have grown to love such as with "The Lake" and "Broken Bones."
If you didn't believe it before, Memory Man proves that Aqualung is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in modern songwriting. The exciting thing is that he's not finished yet and we can't wait to see what is up his sleeve for album three.