In the pop mainstream today, it often seems that songwriters are overlooked for pretty faces and, well … other stuff that’s pretty too. Too many excellent singers, musicians and groups are going unnoticed by the masses because they can’t get coverage on that authoritarian musical monopoly, MTV.
Angie Aparo is one of those. Although his album music is complex and studio-refined, if one looks past the instrumental flash, they’ll find a brilliant lyricist at the heart of a pop band. He truly reflects his record company’s assertion that he is a “street-poet for the 21st Century.”
Aparo’s best known song, the single “Spaceship,” is proof of this fact as well. In the song, he wraps intricate lyrics about refusing to grow up in a world that seems insanely not grown up around synth-driven ultra-pop. Near the end of the song, he apologizes for the tales that he can’t weave into his songs: “Play me a groove, one for my radio / One for my love that came and went / So many stories, hey man I’m sorry / Joe, this is just a song to pay the rent.”
“Spaceship” comes from Aparo’s crowning achievement, The American, produced by Matt Serletic (who also produces Matchbox 20, but you can’t hold that against him). The album is 18 songs long, and each is a different piece of sonic mastery. From the synths on “Spaceship,” to the acoustic guitar and string quartet of “Wonderland,” to the modern poppish drum machine sound of “Third Time Around,” each song is different, and nearly all of them have the stuff to become radio singles.
And even if they don’t become radio singles, the songs are catchy enough for fans to sing along to as Aparo brings his songwriting skills to the Stella Blue in Asheville on Wednesday, February 21. Because of the studio work that goes into his albums, Aparo’s music, when performed live, has a rawer, more stripped down quality to it. That’s not a bad thing, as many of the songs find new vibes that they couldn’t before in the sterile world of synthesizers and drum tracks.
Aparo realizes, as all musicians should, that the business isn’t about flash and special effects. Each of his songs could stand on its own if it were just Aparo and his acoustic guitar, and that’s the way many of them turn out during his live shows.
To recap, Angie Aparo plays the Stella Blue in Asheville (31 Patton Ave., downtown) next Wednesday, February 21. Tickets are on sale in advance, and on the night of the show. For more information, call (828) 236-2424.