Pros:Unique sound, but in a good way
Cons:There's only one "The American" out there
The Bottom Line: Angie Aparo's "The American" is a superior effort from an amazingly talented musician. All types of musiclovers will enjoy this album.
I first heard Angie Aparo in 2000, when his song "Spaceship" was played pretty often on the local rock station in Athens over that summer. I remember really liking the song, but somehow never hearing who it was by and never hearing anything else by the artist. Meanwhile, for the better part of a year, my friends Justin and Mark had been trying to get me to listen to this artist they like, Angie Aparo. They have seen him in concert somewhere around the same number of times that I have seen The Refreshments in concert (which is five, give or take a show or two). In any event, being somewhat set in my musical tastes, it took me awhile to finally get around to listening to Angie Aparo's stuff...but when I did, it was electric. After Spaceship, the next two songs I heard were Hush and Cry, both also off The American.
Recommend this product?
It may just be me, but Angie Aparo's music immediately reminded me of another old favorite of mine, the now-defunct band, Toad the Wet Sprocket . I can't really explain why -- you'll either hear it too or you'll just think I'm wrong. Lyrically, he also reminds me a little bit of Edwin McCain, which for me is a good thing.
Angie Aparo has an amazing ability to compose songs about feelings that we all have at one time or another but yet we rarely or never discuss with or even reveal to others. Cry is a perfect example of this -- the idea of wanting someone with whom you're hopelessly head-over-heels for to feel bad the way you do. Cry can be profoundly depressing, but then again, it seems to me that many of the best songs out there are.
Hush is another spectacular song off this album. While I don't identify personally as much with this song as some of the others on the album, it is still lyrically amazing and never fails to have an emotional effect on me.
Then there's Gravity. I had never had the opportunity to listen to this song until I bought the album and listened to it all the way through, although Mark had told me that this song might have been Angie's best. Mark was right -- while Gravity sounds much more upbeat than Cry, it has some extremely depressing, gut-wretching lyrical overtones. At the risk of trivializing the depth and richness of Angie's lyrics, this song is essentially about the unreal pull that a person can have over another person, and how powerful that pull can be no matter what the surrounding circumstances. This is one of the songs on the album that made me think of Edwin McCain.
I could keep writing about individual tracks on this album that I really like, but this article would be ridiculously long if I did that. This album is one of the few that I have heard in recent years which is really listenable and just plain good all the way through. I'm not a huge fan of the first track, but even that one is okay, and I like every other track on this album. I will specifically mention one more track, Wonderland...The American, the last on the album, which I also think is extraordinary. Once again, it is unholy depressing, but deeply emotional.
This is an absolutely great album, and by "great" I mean one of my all-time favorites.
Great Music to Play While: Listening