There weren't many doubts of whether or not Matt Hales, aka Aqualung was a musical genius after his American debut, "Strange and Beautiful"- a collection of some of his previous works in the U.K. His latest album titled "Memory Man" picks up where "Strange and Beautiful" left off. "Memory Man" shows off Hales' genius right from the beginning- Cinderella is a beautiful opener that sets t he creative standard for the rest of the album. Track 2- "Pressure Suit"- is the single and rightfully so. The song is the perfect blend of Hale's craftsmanship in pop/alternative/rock merging with his study and appreciation of classical/symphony music. No this track doesn't sound like a symphony, it sounds like a pop song. But take notice to how thick and complex it is and how everything merges together wonderfully to make a song and a sound that's. simple. Past those first two tracks precedence is established and Hales stays with or goes above and beyond said precedence.
Some critics have said that you need to listen to this album more than once to really appreciate it, and I agree. When an album that's as complex as this comes out, it has to be listened to more than once. Maybe a lot of it was drowned out the first listen, or maybe you missed something; both can happen with "Memory Man." You have to give it your full attention at least once to really get it. If you're not really listening the first time through you're probably going to just think it's okay- but give it a second chance, you'll get into it I promise.
Matt Hales proves again why he is one of the few remaining musicians in the world, and he does it with a certain amount of charm that can't be matched by his peers. When you think of Aqualung, think of Coldplay, think of Keane, think of that type of piano rock/pop, but think of it as more complex, more dynamic. Think of it as being a little bit better.