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Singer Songwriter Showcase: Ari Hest - Someone To Tell 
By Linda Spielman

I received this CD blindly from a friend and was told over and over again, I would fall in love with it. I had never heard of Ari Hest, never heard any buzz on Ari Hest nor read anything prior to receiving the CD about its release. So, without any of those factors in the CD's favor, I truly doubted to resounding affirmation that I would fall in love with it. I was a bit skeptical. I should be, right? Not everything out there is great, and it's my job to give the reader the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to music reviews. 
Probably the best way for me to have to listen to this was to put it in my car and drive. That's exactly what I did. Having it ply in a sub-conscience sort of way, while paying attention to where I was traveling was the best way to get a positive or negative reaction to Ari Hest. OK, so my friend was absolutely right about "Someone To Tell". I did fall in love with it; immediately in fact. Listening to Hest play his acoustic guitar and smooth vocals transported me to one of my favorite places to hear great music, The Village in New York City. The coffeehouse feel, clear and emotional lyrics and raw sound is something that was bottled and captured on this CD.
"Aberdeen" and "Fascinate You" are just two of the more outstanding tracks on this CD. Hest's ability to channel a realistic aspect of human emotion into the most simplistic translation of melody and lyrics. His guitar playing comes off as effortless throughout the CD, to the point where his playing says as much about the songs as do the lyrics themselves. 
I truly can't say enough about this CD. After researching Ari Hest further, I found this isn't his first release, although it is his first major label compilation. Many of the songs on "Someone To Tell" are re-releases of past indie CDs. Although I found this CD refreshing, many of its critics site that Hest has sold out to the industry with its release. They site mass musical production robbing the true beauty of the songs from their original arrangements. Some are trying to compare him to John Mayer and Gavin DeGraw. While others simply are disappointed with the fact that Hest himself let all of the above happen just to obtain a major label deal with Sony.
I cannot speak for past knowledge of Ari Hest as a singer, musician and song writer. I can only speak for what is put in front of me now. Yes, there is a bit of over production on this CD. The songs could have equally held their own with string arrangements and strong bass lines. But as a whole, "Someone To Tell" is a quality CD. It isn't pop, it isn't easy listening. It's great live music combined with a bit of technology. It's nothing like a Saturday night in The Village, but it comes pretty darn close.

CD Info 

Ari Hest - Someone To Tell
Label: Columbia
They're On To Me
Fond Farewell, A
Anne Marie
Holding On
Strangers Again
Fascinate You
Not For Long
When Everything Seems Wrong
Someone To Tell
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