Two words can describe
the debut album from Angie Aparo: Modern Masterpiece! From it's slick
production courtesy of Matt Serletic (Matchbox-20, Collective Soul, Aerosmith)
to the poetic lyrics, exceptional vocals and compelling messages
in his songs, The American is one of the best releases of the new century.
Beyond the exceptional music on this album, the American asks the listener
to think with its social commentary. Not since Dylan has an artist crafted
lyrics so deeply steeped in metaphor and meaning that they can only be
It's is hard to classify
the style of Angie Aparo's Melisma/Artista debut. It will fit in well with
top 40, AAA, and Modern Rock radio formats as well as the VH1 crowd. If
you like the musical styling of Sting, Seal, and Paul Simon, you should
love Angie Aparo. Even if you don't like the before mentioned artists,
you should give The American a spin because this just might be the first
album from a new international superstar --- no bull!
"I decided I had
to get fearless," says Angie Aparo. "I realized that if you're truly an
artist, whether you're Woody Guthrie or a medieval minstrel, you've simply
got to communicate. It's in those moments that you're really alive. Communicating,
creating - that's what I have to do." With characteristic intensity, the
singer/songwriter/guitarist is talking about the soul-searching behind
his remarkable Melisma/Arista debut, The American. Aparo's songs
are urgent and inspiring, and capture the full breadth of human emotion.
They are subtly arranged and melodically indelible, telling the story of
the common man. A rich aural landscape of primal guitar and insistent rhythm,
of strings and horns and evocative vocals, The American is music that will
last. The album introduces a voice who'll be around for a long time; a
street poet for the 21st Century.
"I am a song/I been
here all along," Angie sings on "Memphis City Rain." Inspired by Aparo's
fury at the manipulation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday by self-serving
politicians, the tune is one of the album's many highlights. Yet its lyrics,
too, could sum up its creator. Southern-reared and Italian by heritage,
Angie Aparo has spent a lifetime in music. He honed his skills in Nashville
song circles and New York's The Bitter End and The Mercury Lounge, refining
his vision on the byways and crossroads of the land he's traveled. Always,
he has sung. "Singing has always been transcendent for me," he says. "And
what I want to do is communicate something of meaning, something that connects
in a very real way."
From the soaring
essence of the Top 40 Modern Rock single "Spaceship" ("When you get tired
of satellite flyers/And fame has let you down/Under the wire and over the
moon/I'm around") to the artful Latin syncopation of "It's Alright," The
American unveils a signature passion. A crash course in the art of the
song, the album ranges from the pared-down gorgeousness of "Wonderland"
to the waltzing beauty of "Cry." As the music lingers, we're left not only
with an artist's self-portrait, but a rediscovery of ourselves. "I've thought
for a long time," Aparo asserts, "that the skill of performing - especially
in people I really admire - isn't about 'me.' It's about reminding you
of what you have."
The journey toward
The American began roughly two years ago when Angie began collaborating
with producer Matt Serletic (Santana, Matchbox 20, Edwin McCain, Aerosmith,
Collective Soul). In a genuine meeting of minds, the pair traded ideas
and insights, working out how best to derive the full measure of meaning
from Aparo's music. "I'd been working with a groovebox for a long time,
just compiling tape after tape of ideas," Angie says. "I write every day
- generally starting in the morning, when I just open up to a kind of stream
of consciousness. And about 90 percent of the creating happens when I'm
driving in my car - I get ideas that I shape into finished songs later.
I just follow the music. The music knows what it's supposed to be."
in studios in Atlanta (Angie's home base), Nashville and Miami, Aparo and
Serletic assembled an ace corps of players to augment Angie's guitar, groovebox
and spell-binding vocals. The method they arrived at was emphatically collaborative,
a real synergy of forces. Feeding the players groovebox riffs and scratch
vocals, Aparo began crafting, piece by piece, music of an intense immediacy.
"Working that way, putting things together in the studio, made the songs
fresh for me," says Angie. "It was a method Matt and I first came up with
on 'Spaceship,' laying down about 40 tracks on the song in a single day."
Singing about family
and fatherhood, about romance and heartbreak, Aparo creates a cycle of
songs that illustrates the many facets of the human condition. And, having
recently taken this remarkable music on the road to tremendous acclaim,
he's thinking of another kind of sharing. "To me, performing is about much
more than even the performer getting into the songs," he says. "That phenomenon
happens, of course, and it's amazing. But performing is an interchange;
it's mutual. From audience to performer, there's a gift going on. It's
a collective experience, of people united - just by the simple fact that
we're all human."
Human, honest and
real. That's The American. That's Angie Aparo.
to samples or purchase this title online
more about Angie Aparo at Arista Records web site