Though the season of summer may be all but over, the spirit of summer is alive and well in ....And The Sea Will Tell, the debut album of singer songwriter AJ Abberton. The album is characterized by songs like “In the Green Room” and “Phenomenon” that feature tropical percussion, horns and piano and typify mellow island tunes with jazzy guitar chords, multiple harmonies and secondary lyrics. Abberton demonstrates his vocal flexibility, both in range and speed, throughout the album.
The album takes a slightly less organic turn on a few tracks, including “Headlock” and “Trampoline,” yet still maintains the smooth, melodious vocals from AJ. An upbeat, electronic drum track and a throbbing, garage rock bass accompany strumming on acoustic guitar, melding electronic and acoustic instrumentation into a solid mix of unique sounds reminiscent of turn-of-the-century pop songs, albeit more musically creative and tropical in feel.
“If the Rain Must Fall” and “Wanderlust” are emotive, yet hopeful songs revolving around Abberton’s vocals, pure chords, droning synthesizers and steady guitar strumming. These tunes are slower paced compared to the other tunes on the album; however, the energy of the album continues to pulse unfettered through them. After a spoken segment in “At Bay,” the tangible vigor reemerges in “Settle Back Easy, Jim,” the best song on the album due to its catchiness and accessible Latino influences.
The term surf-pop finds its most obvious meaning in “All for a Few Perfect Waves,” a rushing song lauding the joys and thrills of surfing and catching waves under the sun. The bright, sunny tune gives way to “Killing Time,” seemingly set in a nighttime setting with crickets chirping in the background. This reflective ballad progressively gains intensity but eventually fades out into blissful nothingness.
“At Bay” concludes the album in a simple, well-planned way. Abberton did not complicate things in the last tune; instead, the song is effectively a summary of the entire album in that it employs many of the techniques and styles found earlier in the tracks. Only two-and-a-half minutes long, this song puts the finishing touch on a spectacular album and reminds listeners of the delights they experienced during the course of the album.
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