Aqualung: Additional Futures EP (Okey-Donkey) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, November 22nd, 2019  

Aqualung

Additional Futures EP

Self-Released

Apr 02, 2019 Issue #65 - Mitski and boygenius Bookmark and Share


Matt Hales, the mastermind behind Aqualung, is one of Britain's foremost musical exports of the last 25 years. Whether it be with his original bands Ruth and The 45s (if you don't know who these are, you're in for a treat) or throughout the life of Aqualung, a project begun almost by accident when a track Hales wrote was picked up for a TV commercial, his songwriting and production have been consistently brilliant. Both engaging and evocative, his writing always hits the spot, whatever musical clothes he is wearing at the time. Here, with Additional Futures we are presented with five songs Hales wrote during the sessions for his 2015 record 10 Futures but which didn't make the album.

Here, they make fine companions for one another as a release in their own right. "All She Wore, She Was" is classic Aqualung; understated piano and Hales' close to the mic almost spoken vocal delivery kicking things off before the song builds with a lot of depth added by a rhythm section which makes daring choices and vocal pads which are equally lacking in cliché. "Complicated" is the kind of driving piano rock song Coldplay have been reaching for for years without success. "Fingermouse" is probably the straightest radio pop song Hales has produced for years, albeit imbued with his customary charm. "Use Me" is the sound of a man having studio fun, a deceptive choice for a first single from the EP, whilst closer "Blue" takes things in a stately direction, the songwriting route Hales has become best known and loved for over many years.

As a return to the arena, Additional Futures is a very welcome one. If you are new to Aqualung, by all means start here, but do make a point of checking out the seminal Memory Man too. They will delight in different ways, but both showcase the genius at the heart of this fine songwriter's work. (www.musicglue.com/aqualung/)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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