by Tiana Feng
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
It’s hard to review a Rich Aucoin album without also referencing his live shows. The energy, spontaneity and uplifting spirit of his concerts are captured in his latest album Ephemeral, but unlike 2011’s We’re All Dying to Live, the new album is listenable and just as good on it’s own as a cohesive work.
What makes this different is that it isn’t just songs from the live shows pieced together to form the album, instead Aucoin made it with both in mind, even if it was written to visuals from the 1979 animated version of The Little Prince. Before writing this review, I’ve already had the honour of seeing him perform this live (and will be seeing him again next week). The opener “Meaning of Life” has the new credits music written into the song, so it is no longer another track. It flows right into the uplifting and synth filled tune with spirited “Oh-ohs”. The build-up chocks itself with so much happiness it’s amazing. From there, the dance party continues with “Want to Believe” and “Are You Experiencing?”, tracks that are guaranteed to get the crowd singing along by the end of the first chorus.
Contrastingly, “Yelling in Sleep” has some slower breakdowns so you can take a break before the glitch frenzy of “They Say Obey”. The horn-accompanied “City I Love”, will make you proud of whatever city you’re from (even if your mayor smokes crack). “Four More Years” continues the trend of songs-you’d-totally-sing-with-a-group-of-100-strangers and believe me, if you end up at his show, you will be. Even the most “sad” of the songs still maintains a light spirit singing, “I’m sorry I’ve failed and repeated in something I need to believe it.” But whatever that failure was, “Let It Go” sets it free. The album ends on a rather somber note with “Always the Same” re-iterating that life will always follow the same pattern, that life last’s only for a short time. While you’re alive, why not grab this record and listen to it or better yet go to his show and experience it?