AIM - Hinterland

Rainy, cold, sunny, mild, autumnal, springish… Hinterland, Andy Turner (aka Aim)’s latest opus is always good, whatever the season. Listening to this record makes you travel through the landscape pictured on the album cover, a little coastal town, smelling spindrift and putting up with the weather’s fickle play when winter is here.

AIM - Hinterland

Grand Central :: 2002 :: buy this record

The soul/pop jewels "The Girl Who…" (sung by Kate Rogers who had already made a splendid track on Aim’s first album), Good disease with Stephen Jones (aka Babybird), whose voice flows through your ears like dewdrops, or even The Twilight Zone, which Andy Turner himself sings, with a shy and melancholic voice (vaguely sounding like Coldplay’s) will quite easily suit a day after a rainy and sullen party, and will be the rays of light in it.

As far as the instrumental tracks are concerned, "Guimar" and its multiple atmospheres (blues, funk, jazz…) brings you to a beach in California in the sixties, where you come across seagulls, surfers and the Beach Boys themselves. "What Do People All Day" is more about meditation, gentle and sweet, with a spring-like violin loop, and a leitmotiv asserting that all this is "for the people who cry to hear something new"… You cannot but believe it sometimes, agreeable as it gets. Another outstanding track is "Hinterland", where you can journey between flutes, zithers and incense, for a seventies’ atmosphere this time.

Then, how come ?, rappers sneak into this corpus… it’s not that surprising, as they were already there for Cold Water Music. This time, there are Souls of Mischief (!) and Diamond D (!!) partaking, as Aim is a big fan of their respective works… The former will be quickly forgotten, because even if we can sense good will, their track is damn right boring (maybe I’m being rude, but I can only see it that way). Diamond D makes up for this on "The Omen", with a laid back flow on a perfectly efficient instrumental, gathering brass instruments, shrill violins, chirping, flutes and more others… The problem is that these tracks break away from the harmony of the album, and do not belong to its own logic, in spite of its eclectic aspect and multiple influences. Too bad.

After all this, we can say that Aim endures pretty well the burden of the sophomore album. More pop and soul oriented, richer of all its influences, sounding less, well, depressive, even if we always sense an underlying melancholy within each track. Well this time he has shown he is definitely the most gifted and interesting specimen of the Grand Central label.

Translated by Gnusball

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