The Analysis is the debut album from Aaron Alcoulomre. Alcoulomre is currently a sophomore at Colorado College but grew up in southern California. He claims to have a hard time pinpointing his direct musical influences for this EP which is definitely evident, but not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a little bit of everything in The Analysis, from smooth jazz and hip hop to melodic, vocal driven tracks. Aaron has studied classical and jazz trumpet most of his young life and his devotion to the instrument rings clear in almost every song.
Recorded mostly in his dorm room, each song has an authenticity and rawness to it that stands out, partly due to the life changing experiences Alcouloumre had in the same time period. There are some talented vocalists and rappers featured throughout that helped round it out into something very special. Think Mike Posner meets Frank Ocean with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment playing in the background. There were a few times I checked to make sure I was still listening to the same album, not just because of the varying styles, but because most of the tracks sound so professional and tight; I thought some new unknown mainstream song somehow started playing.
The album starts of strong with “Down” featuring Sophia Capp. We’re introduced to Alcoulomre’s vocals which are mellow and understated which perfectly complement his smooth trumpet melodies. Capp’s crisp, beautiful chorus meets the louder trumpet notes to form a perfect balance which turns “Down” into a compelling starting piece for the album.
The Analysis takes a little bit of a turn with “C-Me” which is easily my favorite track on the album and I find myself singing it randomly throughout the day thanks to a flawless vocal by Giules Clemente. It starts off with an upbeat trumpet intro that blends into a jazz piano, backing Clemente’s smooth melodic tone. The style is accessible enough to be mainstream, but stands out from anything I’ve heard recently on the radio.
“Stranger Things” is where the album expands into something different. An intense trip of electronic and instrumental sounds backs a haunting poetic performance by Jabu Ndlovu. The first listen made me a little uncomfortable, but that’s what effective art should do, right? By my third go round I was really digging it. Think Twilight Zone as a performance art piece. The deep, sexy vocal by Jaiel Mitchell really puts the icing on this otherworldly cupcake.
Next is “Hey Boy,” a fun, feel good jam. Alcoulomre’s vocals on this track are reminiscent of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” which work perfectly with the jazzy trumpet and staccato beat. Ari Hines’ pretty soprano vocals on the chorus turn this into a perfectly wrapped package I kept wanting to open again and again.
“Pepper’s Ghost” is one of those songs you listen to with your eyes closed. A smooth, almost new wave sound provides the perfect foundation for Ari Hines and Jaiel Mitchell’s vocals to shine. Alcoulomre’s harmonies are soft and subtle and blend perfectly with the full body of the main vocals. The desperate plea of the lyrics are partnered with some pretty badass guitar lines by Callum Neeson that made this song contend with “C-Me” for my top spot.
“K.Y.N.” is a cool laid back mixture of jazz sounds and lazy vocals. The trumpet was definitely the star of this track although the song had a very Frank Ocean vibe. It helps to calm down the intensity left over from the previous song.
The casual vibe continues with “DoubtLove” which starts off with cool bass and melodic vocals and harmonies. The lyrical rap and vocal by Adiel Mitchell is unexpected but very much appreciated. The lyrics are about accidentally falling in love and the fun beat and vocals support that theme perfectly.
“Ms Led” is a mash up of jazzy vocals and hip hop beats. The rhymes by Pierce Ashworth had me bobbing my head and they worked really well with Sophia Capp’s smoky chorus and harmonies.
“Your Day” is an instrumental track with some vocal samples here and there in the background but no actual lyrics. The jazz trumpet is showcased here about halfway through where the song winds down and takes on a more melancholy vibe. Alcoulomre’s playing is intricate, with a silky intimacy that is honestly impressive. I found myself replaying the song just to hear that minute of trumpet again.
Ending the album is “5:7:16” which follows the previous song’s mellow mood and starts off with gentle piano and the fitting lyric, “So If I’m pushed outside my comfort zone, would I find the things that I have never known?” Alcoulomre’s answers his own question with a standout trumpet solo that is as sensuous as it is effortless. The kid has talent, there’s no doubt about it. The song is warm and calming and does an amazing job of bringing all the emotions of the previous songs into a smooth sendoff.
The Analysis was an impressive debut EP, one that I will be listening to again and again. Alcoulomre has an ear for combining disconnected sounds and making them flow in a very unique way. I look forward to future albums and have no doubt that this is only the beginning for Aaron Alcouloumre.
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