November 2002, by Jennifer Layton

Sometimes I feel like contacting the other reviewers whose quotes I read in these press kits and ask them what they’re hearing that I’m not. When a reviewer calls an artist “a blend of Bowie, Liz Phair, and a little Ricky Martin to boot,” I expect to hear some real energy. If I’m still on track six waiting for the energy, it’s a bit of a letdown.

And Ariel Aparicio does deserve better. Had I not gone into All I Wanted ready to hear the “punk, funk, alternative reggae and Latin” promised in his press kit, I might have been more receptive to what this actually is. All I Wanted is a collection of pop/rock with a very 80s feel and a vocal with more depth and maturity than the pin-up pictures would suggest. The music does get bouncy at times, but it’s more of a gentle, easygoing beat, like he’s trying to pace himself through the CD.

He’s definitely better in his dark moods. The whispered intro, morbid images, and unsettling music of “Angels” creates a definite impression:

She was the ecstasy queen
all painted and lean
He went to model in Japan
Twisted and turned, crashed and burned,
They buried him as a man.

In his more upbeat moments, there is some electronica experimentation, Latin influences, and swaying acoustic tracks. Not exactly a mighty roar, but the purring isn’t half bad.

close window