AJ Rosales – Ultramarine

AJ Rosales – Ultramarine / 2007 Novelty / 13 Tracks / http://www.ajrosales.com /

AJ Rosales has a little bit of a Chris Cornell sound to eir voice during the opening of “Ultramarine”, the track “Alone Again”. The instrumentation may be bouncy and jangly, but there is nothing too terribly new provided by Rosales here. The California Dreams-like guitar line that shifts in and out of solos during “Alone Again” is nice but ultimately is dated. While there may not be anything special during this introductory track, Rosales does come forth confidently. This will help during the wind-swept, blues-ridden “Nominate”. The guitars again do not go into any arrangements that break themselves off from what has already been done before. That is the most major problem that Rosales confronts on eir “Ultramarine”. Any of a number of tracks could conceivably make it onto rock radio, country radio, or whatever Rosales feels that eir music would be best, but there is nothing here to distinguish Rosales from hundreds of other artists doing about the same style of music.

The first track where it feels as if Rosales is going somewhere that is at least a little less trodden than the rest of the fare on “Ultramarine” has to be the title track, which has more of an alternative sound to it. This means that there are considerable linkages made between Rosales and the Barenaked Ladies, Blessid Union of Souls, and similar acts. With a number of the tracks on “Ultramarine” having the unfortunate tendency to run together, the sheer magnitude of this disc makes it incredibly hard for individuals to finish off the disc. The use of strings during “Letter to You” is the best inclusion on “Ultramarine”, as it gives the Rosales composition a dimension that is missing in virtually all of the other tracks on the disc. A track like “Brand New Offering” may have a soulful set of vocals and might be hard to distinguish from a Don Henley track, but there is nothing new, nothing that screams “Rosales” here.

That is the most major of problems with this album, and why individuals should hold out on purchasing a Rosales album until that time when ey finds eir “sound”. When this happens, I have no problems with believing that ey would be capable of an amazing album. Here’s to hoping Rosales can go back to the drawing board and create an album that I know that ey is capable of; keep an ear to the ground and be impressed when the stars align.

Top Tracks: Nominate, White Sunshine

Rating: 3.8/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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