As the opening groove, that embedded guitar chug and low end drive kicks in, I’m already breathing a sigh of relief that this particular “guy with a guitar” is anything but one of the usual earnest, balladeering, unplugged troubadours that I normally have to wade through. Then the weight of a full band drops in behind it and suddenly the world seems a much brighter place. It would have been easy to follow some sort of angst ridden pop template and aim to tug teen heartstrings; instead Aaron Avanish plays a much cleverer card.
Driven rock guitars and punchy backbeats pull the song in an altogether more groovesome direction yet it shows that he still understands how to appeal to the commercial market, knows how to work with dynamics and the song therefore drips with infectious melody. So essentially this is a new take on pop music, yes, pop music, we have spent so long being spoon-fed dance routined, production line dross that we have forgotten that pop, okay, pop-rock can be filled with much more integrity, much more honesty. In my book everything is pop music anyway…pop, popular, populist… but let me qualify that a bit.
Pop music is done often, but rarely done as well as this. All too often it is happy to sacrifice creativity for formula, to wander very narrow, established pathways for fear of losing site of the pop-fan dollar. Avanish shows us that if you flip this model on its head, draw in influences from a number of genres, you can write songs, which both appeal to the masses and retain the integrity demanded by the more discerning listener. And still be pop music! How great is that?