Album Review: Aaron and the Lord

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Aaron and the Lord’s self-titled album uses music as a vessel to communicate some of life’s most existential thoughts. Not only is this album stylistically and sonically aesthetic, but the lyrics explore many philosophical ideas such as life, death, love, and time. Through their use of excellent songwriting, instrumentals, and vocals, Aaron and the Lord forces listeners to rethink their perspectives on what it truly means to live.

The band is led by Aaron Perrino, who used to play for the band Dear Leader and is now a guitarist and vocalist for The Sheila Divine, an American rock band. Despite his busy schedule, he pours his all into Aaron and the Lord, without a hint of fatigue. 

This album includes an intricate set of songs with a distinct style that echoes through each piece. Their uniqueness doesn’t just derive from their cult-inspired theme, but also their diverse and cinematic music. To achieve this extraordinary allure, Aaron and The Lord uses rough vocals, 80’s rhythms, complex songwriting, as well as both upbeat and slower melodies, which separate and define them as a singular band. Their songs sound like the end credits of an indie movie, something hard to find in today’s generation of music that encompasses the same lyrics, themes, and sounds. Although the band doesn’t label itself as playing one specific genre, Aaron and the Lord’s style closely resembles indie-rock and alternative music. Although, it is important to keep in mind that this album also adopts characteristics from a variety of different genres to diversify their music. For example, their music has hints of techno that add an electrical element to their sound. 

This project uses a cohesive arrangement of instruments, such as guitar and drums, and the band creates complexity through a variety of sounds without making these instruments seem out of place. The drums add an old rock vibe, grounding the song with a consistent beat, and allowing the listener to bop their head along with the song. The drums also build up the intensity of the song – resembling the same type of relationship that action has to the plot of a good story. Percussion plays an important part in making the songs seem complete. The complex use of instruments throughout this album holds the listener’s attention, making sure not to lose their interest or bore them. Additionally, the main vocalist, Aaron Perrino, often strains his voice to create a unique edge and adds an almost electrical or robotic filter over his singing. 

 It is also worth noting the clear religious symbolism throughout the album, which is showcased through the cover art, album name, and some of the song titles. These connections make the album more impactful for listeners because religion is often a deep, personal topic that involves heavy contemplation, devotion, and faith. The album attempts to help the listener acquire a sense of peace, resolution, and enlightenment, further allowing the songs to serve as a type of spiritual experience. The deep meaning weaved into the lyrics adds a layer of intense contemplation regarding topics of life and death. Although it is hard to pinpoint the album’s main message, Aaron and the Lord adds enough ambiguity so that the listener can come up with their own interpretation. 

The band also collaborates with other artists, such as Tanya Donelly and Mike Bethmann of Tugboat Annie – which adds variety to the album. “This Love Ain’t Dead” is arguably the best song on the album. It includes a very catchy rhythm, with beautiful lyrics that emphasize the idea of undying love: “This love ain’t dead / Like a thought left unsaid.” Tanya Donelly’s voice is the perfect addition to this track, and it allows the song to resemble the aesthetics of the band The Cardigans. One difference between these two bands, however, is that The Cardigans tend to stick to more optimistic music, often utilizing major notes, resulting in a sunny morning type of song. On the other hand, Aaron and the Lord embrace a more melancholy vibe, mixing in more minor notes and making their music more fitting for a cold rainy night. 

Our Sins Align” deserves recognition as well. The combination of Tanya Donelly’s and Aaron Perinno’s layered voices is so aesthetically pleasing. Especially in the chorus where they sing, “I’m taking the best of you and me.” These two singers conjoin their voices, creating a romantic sort of element. The title itself represents the central religious theme, emphasizing the love of two people through a spiritual connection. Instead of using the common phrase “our stars align,” often used to indicate a romantic fate, Aaron and the Lord boldly choose to denote the alignment of two people’s sins. This song is very enigmatic, embodying an eerie vibe that sends chills down the listener’s spine. “Our Sins Align” sounds like something straight out of an 80’s-90’s horror romance movie – a theme that is visible throughout the album. 

This album’s pleasing blend of instruments would make it unimaginably amazing on stage, where the band’s talent will steal the hearts of many. Aaron and the Lord radiates timeless music that can intrigue both the older and newer generations. Overall, this album is the perfect example of the beauty that lies hidden within the underground music scene of Massachusetts.

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