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AQUALUNG Magnetic North (2010)


While it's impossible for anyone weaned on 1970's rock to disassociate Aqualung from Jethro Tull, for more recent generations it means singer songwriter Matt Hales, who born the year after the release of Tull's masterpiece in 1972, also goes by that pseudoname.

Although he first came to the public's attention when his sog Strange And Beautiful was used for a VW Beetle ad in 2002, he's also achieved considerable airplay in the States - again therough the use of his material in film and a number of major TV series such as The OC, Grey's, Scrubs, several CSI varients, and Skins.

Magnetic North is his sixth album, and his first of all new material since relocating to L.A. The fact that his greatest successes have, perhaps, been across the pond, says something for Aqualung's sound. Too thoughtful and insightful for the British pop market, and way to clean cut for rock fans, his target audience is bedsitter land, perhaps why his material works so well tugging TV heartstrings.

Undeniably well constructed and delivered album an all acoustic instrument affair recorded over 5 days at his home studio - Magnetic North certainy won't disappoint existing fans. Whether it will earn him new ones back at home, I somehow have my doubts.


Review by Pete Whalley


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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