Wednesday, July 9, 2008


"I saw you sinking like a shipwreck, I heard you drowning in the fog..."

Artist: Aaron Thomas
Album: Follow the Elephants

1. Descending
2. Any More
3. Clattering
4. Wasted Or Crazy
5. Far From Home
6. Damage Done
7. Kill This City
8. Down To Earth
9. Aw C'mon
10. We Don't Care
11. Thinking Is Unproductive
12. Finish Me

Aaron Thomas is an Australian songwriter, currently residing in Madrid, Spain. His work here is very low-key, with a quieter sound built mostly to showcase Thomas' voice and lyrics. Thomas' voice isn't bad by a long shot; it's got a quality of fogginess similar to Thom Yorke's, and he's nailed the ability to sing how he's feeling. Perhaps it's the small-time nature of his recording, but both a blessing and a curse is the style of the songs; it's charming but also, at first, comes off as a little bland or flat. Most of the songs sound a bit too much the same, and it takes some effort to really separate them.

I would not qualify this as one of 2008's best releases. But, but, there is a lot of potential here. "Aw C'Mon", posted not too long ago, is a perfect showcase for Thomas' strengths: caustic, taunting, emotion-driven vocal work; well-written ramblings of lyrics and music that enchances, rather than flattening, his vocal performance. The addition of a good beat and the division between vocals and instrumentals makes "C'Mon" stand head and shoulders above the rest. "Wasted Or Crazy" accomplishes this feat as well, and is quite enjoyable; though parts of it sometimes come off as annoyingly whiny, Thomas' vocals and lyrics are quite nice.

So, what do I think of the rest? The production seems to flatten most of the songs, but after you get over that they seem to get better. Thomas gives a good performance on opening track "Descending"; "Far From Home" is nice and sad, more affecting than many of the others and creating a nice bit of atmosphere; "Damages Done" is pretty good. On the other hand, "Kill This City" is just plain annoying, and Thomas crosses the line to downright headache inducing on "We Don't Care". However, all in all a decent, if not mindblowing, album. I'm interested to see what comes next, definitely.

Aaron Thomas - Far From Home
Aaron Thomas - Wasted Or Crazy

And remember, search for more at The Hype Machine; purchase albums or mp3's at Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amie St., cdbaby, or Insound.

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