About 20 odd a long time ago you could not go without having hearing the music of Aqualung, AKA Matthew Hales. Just after a handful of many years of chart placements his star – and involved fame – commenced to fade. But this was not the very last we heard of Hales. He turned to songwriting and generating for the likes of Mika, Tom Chaplin, Tiësto, Kwabs, Paloma Faith, and most just lately Lianne La Havas. After a seven-12 months crack Hales has returned with a new heartrending Aqualung album ‘Dead Letters’.
‘Here And Now’ opens the album. This feels like vintage Aqualung. The lyrics appear to float out of the speakers and the drift about ahead of vanishing like smoke from an fatigued candle. The outro features intricate, but catchy guitars, that sense like a homage to Pink Floyd. Examine to the relaxation of the keep track of they’re a little bit out of spot. It in some way operates so its all good.
‘Champion Of The World’ has massive Elton John ‘Benny And The Jets’ vibe, but also sounding reminiscent to the music that first broke Hales two many years ago. There is a soaring string portion that grows and falls, as does Hales’ vocals. The chorus features the lyric “You acquired it / Your ft are just a little bit as well significant for your shoes” and “you’re a soldier now”. It feels like Hales is possibly speaking about fame – his increase to prominence and fall off – or he could be chatting about his children. And this is the beauty of ‘Dead Letters’. You are under no circumstances confident if his currently being confessional or conversing about somebody else fully.
‘Fool’ commences off as a sombre piano ballad. As the song progresses strings and guitars carefully explode from the speakers. These small maelstroms match the lyrical content material of the track. “It’s been a even though considering the fact that I informed the truth” “You believe I’m a idiot / I consider you are right” and “You are the hurricane that blows me away” are splendidly telling lyrics.
‘Dead Letters’ is the strongest album Matthew Hales has unveiled in 20 yrs and feels like a fitting comeback. That is not to disrespect the albums between his self-titled debut and ‘Dead Letters’, but there is some thing unique about his new giving. Possibly its that Hales hasn’t released just about anything given that 2015, but the tracks included on ‘Dead Letters’ are filled with filagree melodies. Its his vocals that are the authentic star of the present. There is a hushed attractiveness to his delivery. Half-sung, half-spoken that genuinely catches you unaware. Hales’ voice has aged wonderfully. Gruffer than on previous releases but even now capable of hitting these superb higher notes.
In general ‘Dead Letters’ is a reflective album that deserves to be played. A ton. It might not be as flash and showy as other albums unveiled this 12 months. On the other hand, there is a delicate class to it that elevates Aqualung from his peers. If you give it a chance you may come across some thing really unique indeed.
Text: Nick Roseblade