Subscribe to SoundAffects
email list:

Follow SoundAffects1 on Twitter



CD Reviews: Ari Hest
Ari Hest: Someone To Tell
September 2004
By: Sara Zeno
album cover of Ari Hest's Someone To Tell

The musical momentum of Someone to Tell feels appropriately fitting coming from Ari Hest, an artist who is intimately connected with New York City, the place that never loses its energy. The album is also his leap into major label land after years of successfully working to win an audience on his own through ceaseless travel, promotion and recording.

The dusky, smoky vibe of the album pulls together rock and contemplative songwriting into a pleasing, cohesive whole. Hest has a slightly weathered voice that is also richly resonant--- managing to soar up to falsetto at times, and he's gifted with knowing how to use his instrument to pull out deeper meaning from his lyrics.

Hest's writing claims self-acceptance and growth, as shown in A Fond Farewell: This is my hand, these are the cards that I've been dealt / Only I can make these changes, nobody else. . . I'm making peace with my soul tonight. The song Aberdeen also affirms the drive to move forward: Never was there any doubt / I would make my way out / I want to know what life's all about / And I will get there.

Monsters takes a look at releasing the past and its nearly interminable grip upon the present. Hest leaves room for hope in this potentially infinite struggle. If you refuse to hide / These monsters will subside.

Other songs worth a deeper listen are Consistency, with its snaky instrumentation, including excellent additions from a horn section, and vocalizations, as well as Someone to Tell, which cracks a window into the world of a writer's motivations.