Someone To Tell by Ari Hest (2004)

02Aug11

Artist: Ari Hest
Album: Someone To Tell
Year: 2004
Genre: “wuss rock”

Mood: Deep in thought.

You’ll like this if you like: James Taylor, Bob Seger, Chicago, Bob Schneider

Best Tracks: ‘A Fond Farewell’, ‘Aberdeen’, ‘Holding On’, ‘Monsters’, ‘When Everything Seems Wrong’

Why Should You Care?
Ari Hest’s voice is like some kind of musical superpower.

I saw Ari perform several years ago in the coffee shop area of a bookstore in central PA in front of a tiny crowd of about 12 people. Just before the performance, I overheard him on the phone with his manager complaining about the small turnout, but that he was gonna do a good show anyway. I liked that he was honest in his disappointment, but also eager to win a few fans that day. He took a seat on top of a table a few feet to my left, and began to sing along with his acoustic guitar. Almost immediately, I noticed that every head in the room was turning to do the same thing that I was doing: locate the mic and speakers, which were nowhere to be found. Ari Hest’s voice was BOOMING and perfect…I can’t think of any other way to describe it than to say that his raw voice sounds like it is being projected through an amplifier, and everyone was captivated. I’ve never again witnessed any human with this ability, and probably never will. Like young Peter Parker in 2004 (Spiderman 2) he was still figuring out how to use his powers to benefit the world.

Someone To Tell came out the same summer as that coffee shop show. This record isn’t for everyone, but if you’re an Ari fan then this will kinda serve as a greatest hits record for his early material. Tracks like ‘Holding On’, ‘Consistency’ and ‘When Everything Seems Wrong’ were polished for this release (and all three are highlights of the album). The lyrics are very analytical of self and relationships throughout the record. A friend once told me that ‘Anne Marie’ helped articulate his resentful feelings toward an ex-girlfriend. ‘Someone To Tell’ sounds like an autobiography from the artist. ‘Aberdeen’ was a favorite track of mine at a time in my life when I wanted to get the hell out of my hometown but was too young and naïve to figure out how. And if you can’t find something to relate to in ‘Monsters’, you aren’t human. The reason I say that it’s “not for everyone” is because the songs are generally very chill and introspective, which isn’t what some folks are looking for. His songs aren’t highlighted by catchy hooks…instead you get smooth songwriting and stellar delivery. If you’re in a mood and are looking for someone to articulate your thoughts, I suspect you’ll find something good on Someone To Tell.

Hopefully Ari feels rewarded for the small moments like the coffee shop performance that turned into years of ticket/album sales and word-of-mouth promotion from one fan. Ari tours a bunch on the east coast…check out his tour schedule, and don’t miss an opportunity to witness this musical superhero in action!

Cool Factoid: In 2008, Ari wrote/recorded/released one song every week of the year…the project was called 52 for the 52 tracks that were released each Monday. I was a subscriber and couldn’t wait for each week’s new track. The best songs of that batch became 2009 album Twelve Mondays.

music turtle recommends: GET SOME TRACKS!

What do you think about this album? Comment below

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