Fm Sound: March, 2003, by Craig Curtice

The only thing that makes the cancerous television show American Idol even remotely bearable is Simon. Never mind that he’s the Chuck Barris straight man of this karaoke gong show, he’s usually right about assessing talent and he doesn’t hold back deserved criticism. Seventy-five percent of all the posers who showed up for national auditions had no business even being there.

So what does this have to do with Ariel Aparicio and his new album All I Wanted? Well, Ariel’s in the right percentage as far as musical talent is concerned, but vocally, well, let’s just say that Simon would not be pleased. While his delivery is passionate and genuine, his vocal prowess is akin to Jose Feliciano’s throaty warbling. Don’t get me wrong, what may be interesting for some will sound strained for others. On the positive side though, Aparicio nicely incorporates many diverse musical styles into decent songs—mainly salsa and subdued reggae with a light electronica touch; an acoustic blend of Lenny Kravitz and Zero 7.

Using musical influences from his Cuban heritage and Miami upbringing, Aparicio’s tastes for Latin and pop are displayed on “Always The Bridesmaid”, “Neverland (The Lollypop Song),” “Dreamer” and the title track. Credit should be duly given to Josh Margolis, the other half of Ariel Aparicio, who produces, arranges and plays multiple instruments throughout. Eight of the 11 songs on All I Wanted are new, with the exception of “Mi Corazon” and “Sweetness” which are updated mixes from previous singles, and an also included is a lightly spiced revamping of the Pretenders classic, “Kid.” Perhaps the best song on the album is the delayed ghost track after “Calling All Cars.” The nameless piece is a simple acoustic guitar riff that morphs into an eerie sounding little ditty that deserved some more exploration. Ariel Aparcicio may not be for everyone, but his potential is something even Simon couldn’t ignore.

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