Matt Hales, the man behind the Aqualung name, couldn't have chosen a more appropriate title for his Stateside bow. His sonic mood food skirts the outskirts of ambience but offers enough in the way of form so that nothing comes across as aural wallpaper. Hales couches his tales of starry-eyed love (expressed on the title track) and the woeful, unrequited version of the same emotion (aired on the postmodern torch song "Falling Out of Love") in the same sort of outsider mufti often used by Radiohead's Thom Yorke, whose wounded tenor is an obvious influence here. For the most part, Aqualung is a keyboard-driven vehicle, one that can glide along smoothly, as evidenced by the string-laced "Easier to Lie," or lurch forward in more persnickety fashion. Hales applies the latter method most successfully on the quietly desperate "Breaking My Heart," on which he cleaves oppressive bass lines with frustrated lyrics about losing faith in, well, just about everything. Even in his most dour moments, however, Hales never loses sight of his melodic muse, making him -- along with kindred spirit Tom Chaplin of Keane -- a welcome piano man for the new millennium.
Performance CreditsAqualung Primary Artist
David Price Piano,Drums,Tambourine,Shaker
Paul Winter-Hart Drums
James Copperthwaite Bass
Garret Lee Guitar,Keyboards
Kimberly Oliver Background Vocals
Matt Hales Organ,Percussion,Piano,Harpsichord,Keyboards,Tambourine,Vocals,Noise,Vibes,Shaker,fender rhodes,Animal Sounds
Kerry Frampton Background Vocals
Daniel Tuite Organ,Vibes,Bowed Vibes
Ben Hales Guitar,Background Vocals,Various
Jim Copperwaite Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsMark "Spike" Stent Remixing
James Banbury Arranger
James Copperthwaite Producer
Dan Swift Engineer
Garret Lee Programming,Producer
Kimberly Oliver Composer
Matt Hales Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Tony Perretta Engineer
Ben Hales Composer
Spike Stent Remixing
Jim Copperwaite Audio Production
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Strange and Beautiful based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
This artist first caught my attention on a movie starring Ashton Kutcher called "A Lot Like Love", the track being "Brighter Than Sunshine". A perfect Cd for a couple who have fallen in love and can't get enough of each other, or simply for a person who is seeking a piece of something to give them peace or quality relaxation. A good artist to listen to on a rainy day. I highly recommend this. On this CD Matt Hales does a lot of quiet things, whispy songs. On another one of his albums, "Memory Man", he uses a clearer more direct voice.
I fell in love with the title track ("Strange and Beautiful") the first time I heard it, and I've been anticipating the release of this album ever since. It's just completely mellow, and beautifully written. Some other amazing songs that rank up there as my favorites are, "Breaking My Heart," "Left Behind," and "Another Little Hole" which is in my personal running for best track. I can't say enough good things about this CD...buy, download, but you gotta give it a listen.