Fucking heavy. I’ll just start with that. Aaron Lee Tasjan has become known for his deadpan delivery, wry and often dry witted sense of humor on songs like “E.N.S.A.A.T” and “Bitch Can’t Sing”. His last release “In the Blazes” being scarred with the hints of Americana running through the veins of East Nashville. A bit more on the rock n’ roll, blues end of the spectrum, sprinkled with the dust off his boots from tours across country. We have been eagerly awaiting the follow up to one of our favorite records from last year and we get what seems to be a different side of Aaron with the first off of “Silver Tears”…
Again, fucking heavy…as a rhythm section that mocks a beating heart in some sort of nebulous fashion kicks in hard right off of the bat. The arrangement has a mellifluous hugeness to it. Tasjan has brilliantly taken the sonic tone and arrangement of his song to resemble its core meaning and subject matter. Perhaps questioning the way in which we interact and live out out lives amongst one another. As we are merely passengers in our own existence, watching as scenes continually start and end traveling in a skin-muscle vehicle…over and over again…the ridiculousness of it all lost on the many, but realized by the few. The music itself, has that epic, larger than life quality. A spectacle and showmanship that is just BIG.
‘Don’t you know, all of this pretending, is just a little movie that we play’ he sings before a break where we perhaps we get more of the sincerity of the songwriter. A voice and an acoustic guitar enter. The gentle nature he wants to display but perhaps society won’t allow. And the larger than life rhythm and pageantry of sound re-enters the song.
There is a mournful resonance in the singer’s voice as he pronounces watch the day unfold in little movies / with silver tears that sparkle from my eyes. Is he giving up, giving in or giving out a lesson to folks to shape up and open their eyes? Thematically some blend of self loathing and self awareness swirl amongst the keys, throbbing drumbeats and guitars in the mix. Aaron has a way about him of inflicting and imposing emotion on his listener. It isn’t any one sort of human feeling or condition. He is variable in that way, and perhaps that is where his brilliance comes from. Songs like “66 Dollar Blues” get you moving and shaking. Songs like “ENSAAT” get you (depending on what side of the equation you are) laughing at or reevaluating your art. And songs like “Little Movies”, well they are something a bit more. Colored with the satirical nature that ALT has been known for, but digging deeper into just how fucked we are societally, but presents it on a platter that glimmers in a way making it that much easier to swallow.
“Little Movies” expands the pantry of sound that Tasjan pulls his muse from, but sustains his ability to extend and stretch his innate and rare talent for social commentary spouted over guitar riffs and pulsating piano rhythms. ALT is a treasure.
If this is what we get as a first track from the singer-songwriter, I am more than eager to dig in and stuff myself silly with the remaining 11 tracks from “Silver Tears”.
Pre-order the new record today: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/aaronleetasjan