Ari Hest – The Green Room Sessions (CD)

Ari Hest – The Green Room Sessions / 2006 Sony / 5 Tracks / http://www.arihest.com / http://www.columbiarecords.com / Reviewed 19 January 2007

Ari Hest has been talked about quite a few times in the last few months, and The Green Room Sessions” is an introductory EP to show everyone who receives it exactly what Hest is about. The style of music that is played during songs like “Upstairs” is a blend of Shawn Mullins and the Country Crows. The acoustic guitar plays a major part in the creation of an overall sound for Hest, while the vocals of Hest provide the second major determinant of the disc’s sound.

The construct of the instrumentation at points during “Upstairs” is reminiscent of early Cat Stevens, even though Hest makes it a point to have a current sound dominant throughout this disc. There is a full-scale shift of the same style that was present during “Upstairs” for the opening strains of “Them”. In fact, the two seconds that break up the track are pretty much the only indicator that the track is fundamentally different than “Upstairs”. The style does shift slightly to include a more Chris Isaak type of sound, but even this is not a major stretch by any stretch of the imagination.

“Little Lies” has a much different opening than the ending of “Them” would suggest. It is during this track that Hest is able to come forth with a style that is fundamentally different from anything that was previously present on this EP. This will undoubtedly allow individuals to find more things about Hest to like, and possibly pick up “The Break-In” when it comes out. This different sound could be due to the fact that “Little Lies” is a cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic, which is the first cover to make it onto this EP. The style of music that Hest plays is something that a number of individuals can get behind. One need only look at the number of sales that bands like Dishwalla and Blessid Union of Souls were able to make in the last decades to see that. While there is not a “stand-out” track present on this disc, Ari Hest provides individuals with a solid bit of pop-rock. If the style of the music attracts you, this EP would be something to search out. However, if one is only slightly into the style of music that Hest does, perhaps it might be for the best if you spent your time elsewhere. Still, Hest is growing and I still wish to hear the follow up to this album.

Top Track: Little Lies

Rating: 5.4/10

[JMcQ]

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