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AARON ENGLISH

Crossover Prog • United States


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Aaron English biography
US composer and piano man AARON ENGLISH was a surprise signing by them fledgling progressive rock label Progrock Records back in 2002. His debut album All the Waters of This World combined influences from world music, fusion and rock in a manner that saw many compare him to Peter Gabriel at the time.

Later on English would leave Progrock Records and move away from the progressive rock explored on his first album, with his second release The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon moving closer to an adult contemporary overall style, while still retaining some ties to art rock. In 2008 a tour bus accident almost ended his career, destroying all the instruments of the band in the process. His fans cam,e to his aid though, and after their fundraising had finished English was able to hit the studio to create his third effort, American [Fever] Dream, which was released in 2010. On this latest effort English has moved even further away from his progressive rock roots, albeit briefly revisiting progressive tinged landscapes also this time around.

His inclusion into the database of www.progarchives.com is due to his initial effort All the Waters of the World, a rare blend of musical styles in the art pop segment, exploring a subset of progressive rock rarely explored by others.

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AARON ENGLISH discography


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AARON ENGLISH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 5 ratings
All the Waters of This World
2002
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
American Fever Dream
2010

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AARON ENGLISH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 All the Waters of This World by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.56 | 5 ratings

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All the Waters of This World
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by Ozymandias

4 stars My first listen to Aaron English came via an internet podcast where I heard a 'live' version of 'Deep Blue Quiet Places'. What a song!. Like most Prog music for me, it grew on me more and more.

'All The Waters Of This World' is an interesting, mood-setting, Prog-offering, which I regard as a fine debut by an artist. The first three tracks: Sea Of Nectar, Deep Blue Quiet Places and The Lullaby Of Loneliness, are all tracks which are beautifully constructed, making you want more, anticipating, what the next track will bring.

The album does slow down a notch during the middle sector, but overall, a really good listen. An album, once finish, you start from the beginning and listen through it a second time . . .

(Still can't find the 'live' version of 'Deep Blue Quiet Places'anywhere, so not sure where it came from?)

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 All the Waters of This World by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.56 | 5 ratings

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All the Waters of This World
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

3 stars This album starts right out on a high note. With energetic percussion and some fine songwriting, this album succeeds where many popular artists in the eighties and nineties failed, by adding ethnic elements to the music without making it sond contrived. And many of the songs on the album have the same quality.

Where the album loses me is where is gets a bit too folky for my tastes. The title track, All the Waters of This World begins this way, but at least pulls out of the tailspin before it's too late. Flower of Lebanon and Lullaby don't fare quite so well. Otherwise, I would say that this is a fine collection of varied musical styles.

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 American Fever Dream by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 1 ratings

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American Fever Dream
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars With his third production "American Fever Dream", Seattle based self-styled piano man Aaron English takes one more step away from the world music influenced art pop he made his debut with back in 2002. Released two years after a tour bus accident threatened to stop his career dead in it's tracks, the recording sessions for this disc was if not wholly then at least mostly funded by his fans. A token of appreciation to be admired.

What English provides his fans with is an album filled with songs in the singer/songwriter tradition. If not all piano based I'd wager a bet that most of them have been crafted by means of the tangents. The songs tend to be of the slower variety, and sadness and melancholy moods explored throughout.

The opening three pieces comes across as almost archetypical planned singles for the mainstream market, different variations on the fragile and vulnerable theme played out on the rather simplistic opening two efforts, with a more uplifting tune with richer arrangements following. Good songs, making a strong first impression fading over time. At least in the ears of someone who consumes vast amounts of music of a more sophisticated variety yearly.

With Sleight of Heart we're provided with something rather different though. Featuring plucked guitar licks and a driving bass line backed by a fluctuating psychedelic tinged synth motif and a dampened symphonic-inspired backdrop this piece plays with more drive and energy, and with brilliant lyrics anyone who has suffered from love-sickness will instantly recognize themselves in. With a nice mostly instrumental outro the melancholic dreamers can loose themselves in.

The less is more approach of the following piano ballad Peace makes for another solid effort, while the big rhythms dominating the rather more spirited A Northern Sort of Silence provides good variation, the simple piano motif and dampened accordion textures in the latter adding a depth and richness to the proceedings which adds an extra dimension to the composition. An unexpected break towards the end followed by a spirited bass and drums driven outro a further positive aspect of this tune.

Pale Saint is a rather unconvincing effort as far as I'm concerned though, and while the reggae arrangements of God Bless You and Your Man adds an uplifting touch that makes it hard to dislike this ear worm of a tune it's not among the songs I listen to with great interest myself. Could be a potential staple on FM radio that one, it's a song rather hard to forget and one I think a mainstream oriented audience will enjoy even when on heavy rotation.

The Name of This Song Is a Secret is the final piece served by English, and this slow, simplistic lead and backing vocals driven piano ballad is a marvellous construction as far as I'm concerned. The dampened percussion underscoring the emotionally laden vocal performance fits the song perfectly, and while the droning 3 minute long psychedelic outro may not be to everybody's taste I found it to be a natural and fitting conclusion to both song and album, a tranquil fadeout taking us from Aaron's melancholic universe and back into real life.

Single edits of the first two tracks have been added as bonus material, so that the fans who like those versions better won't have to buy the singles presumably. A nice touch to include them anyhow, even if they don't add much to the album as such.

All in all American Fever Dream is a fine production, and a pretty solid one if mainstream oriented singer/songwriter material is something you hold dear. Those who dearly love his debut album "All the Waters of This World" should approach this CD with quite a bit of caution though, as Aaron English today are many miles and waters removed from the style he explored 8 years ago.

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 All the Waters of This World by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.56 | 5 ratings

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All the Waters of This World
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Aaron's English voice dominated music is indeed in the right place here in Crossover, because it blends a lot of things, while still being more or less "Prog" (meaning differs).

Mostly featuring Jazzy rhythms (example Sea of Nectar), World music ("ethnic" influences, like in Mandeleine or Flower of Lebanon), Ballad-like songs (perfect example is All the Waters In the World, reminding me for example "All the Roadrunning" by Dire Straits, or something like that). Combining this in a right way is important thing here and I'm not sure that it is done properly at all times. Something doesn't fit here in this music equation. It simply doesn't work as it should work.

My girl stated that she likes it and that I should give 4(-), but I'll stick with my former opinion and give

3(+), for, even enjoyable (although not exactly my cup of tea), it's ... you know what it is, I don't want to use the word.

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 The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.50 | 2 ratings

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The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars This really hurt at first. After having been charmed senseless by "All the Waters of this World", I sat down to play English's follow up and was so disappointed I shelved it for a few months. He had taken an unsubtle turn to commercial rock, harder and slicker, so no further investment was required, right? Not quite. After all, this guy earned my attention for at least one subsequent release, so I gave it a few fair auditions and had to conclude that the "Marriage of the Sun and Moon" might actually not end in a bitter divorce.

English shows himself to be a fan of decidedly more mainstream and less exotic music like FLEETWOOD MAC in "Thin Ice", which is actually one of the better tracks, and even more clearly, the POLICE in a dreadful, albeit unconventional remake of "Message in a Bottle". But "Weeping Wind" is this artist's most celtic sounding tune and it works in the reflective and suggestive manner of his best earlier work. Both "Crossing the Desert Crossing the Sea" and "Anywhere-En-Up Street" are full out band tunes that show English could still muster progressive tinged AOR when called upon, even if "Brittle" is aptly named and his piano ballads this time around are to the dull side of banal ("Me and my Rainshadow"). For the first time, some humor is interjected with "God Bless you and your man". It utilizes clever wordplay to tell the tale of a guy who knows he's better than the object of his affection's object of affection, but he just can't convince her of that. The songwriting is witty and nuanced enough that the track surpasses the limitations of a novelty song.

"The Marriage of the Sun and Moon" combines shadow and light just effectively enough to avoid an eclipse, even though it doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor.

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 All the Waters of This World by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.56 | 5 ratings

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All the Waters of This World
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Aptly named, "All the Waters of this World" represents a landmark intermingling of styles filtered through the lens of a decidedly enlightened middle class (I presume) American fellow. I hear predominantly world, progressive, new age and pop flowing together refreshingly as rarely before. English proposes a disk that has drawn comparisons to PETER GABRIEL but more melodically oriented, and with vocals that blend better with the accompaniment. It's instantly likable while worthy of many a return visit.

From the opening notes of the Latin-informed "Sea of Nectar" through the introspective luminosity of "Deep Blue Quiet Places" and the primeval sorrow of "The Lullaby of Loneliness", the album grabs hold without delay. English pulls out his trump card, the sensitive piano ballad, for the lovely title cut and the even more sublime "Very Very Heavy", which transforms itself to a hypnotic chant with swirling harmonies. "Ghost is Broken" and "Mandeleine" are the most overtly progressive, but even they are shrouded in a DOUGIE MACLEAN and LOREENA MCKENNITT styled homage to the past. The array of keyboards played by English along with his equally versatile mate Patrick Strole and the violins of Meredith Yayanos all set spellbinding moods.

While it loses steam with the more conventional closing cuts, this debut by Aaron English is worthy of more than a dip and a taste. A watershed.

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 The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.50 | 2 ratings

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The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Seattle-based Aaron English keeps up the good work on his sophomore release. The influences from progressive rock and world music is dampened quite a bit compared to his debut, but there's still remnants of those genres spread throughout this release.

"The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon" has a greater feel of contemporary rock, more straight forward tunes and less of the jazz/fusion/world influences as a whole.

Still, his songwriting ability is just as good on this release as it was on his debut - and his killer version of "Message in a Bottle" has to be heard to be believed. It's an achievement to both make a version that is better than the original as well as make this somewhat overplayed track sound fresh and interesting again.

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 All the Waters of This World by ENGLISH, AARON album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.56 | 5 ratings

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All the Waters of This World
Aaron English Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Out of nowhere comes this record from Seattle-based artist Aaron English. And oh boy - this is not music you would expect to come from that place, that's for sure.

Aaron English music is heavily based on the piano - with a plethora of instruments allowed to fill out the textures of the songs, and in some cases also allowed to be the central instrument. Electric guitars, violin, synth - even a didgeridoo can be heard in some of the songs.

Describing the music as such is difficult. Throughout the album the mood of the songs are generally melancholic, and sometimes sad. This is music for dark autumn evenings, for red wine and remembering the past - or just daydreaming.

As far as stylistic expression goes: Imagine Billy Joel or Elton John collaborating with a world music ensemble, and you're close, at least if you can put it inside an art pop context. As a singer Aaron English hasn't got a great voice, but it suits his music. The closest comparison I can think of is Peter Gabriel.

The album as a whole is good. A few fillers, quite a few good songs, and truly remarkable item: Mandeleine, a sad and haunting song with Celtic and Irish influences. Other personal highlights are Sea of Nectar, The Lullaby of Loneliness and Ghost is Broken. But all in all this is an album with solid songs throughout, few of which can be said to be much better nor worse than others.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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