Review: Aer – One of a Kind

Review: Aer – One of a Kind

Aer – One of a Kind
Lefty At The WashoutTrack Listing:
1.) Intro
2.) One of a Kind
3.) Keep You Here
4.) Position
5.) I Can’t Help It
6.) Colors in The Sky (Interlude)
7.) I’m So Gone
8.) Island
9.) Make Do
10.) Trust Fund
11.) The Rain

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: August 14th, 2015
Official Website: Aer Website

Artist Background:
Led by Massachusetts natives David von Mering and Carter Schultz, the increasingly popular Aer has returned with their fourth full-length album since their stellar 2011 debut. Aer’s music is described as a blend of Hip-Hop, Reggae, Rock, and Pop, but have openly admitted to switching things up a bit with this album. Adjusting their sound is a risky move for any band to make, especially so early in their careers, but Aer is confident that their risk will lead to an even greater reward.

Album Review:
My expectations for this album were high, especially given the success of their previous self-titled release and their growing presence in mainstream media. Perhaps its because their last album was so effective that I felt One of a Kind fell a hair short of expectations, but its still one of the freshest albums of the summer.

The opening track “Intro” does a good job of setting the album’s tone without giving away the vibe of the entire body of work. By layering in various drum beats along with an electric guitar progression over the course of fifty eight seconds, Aer provides a quick breath of what is to come from their self proclaimed “fresh Aer movement.” We then get the full experience with the album’s single and titular track “One of a Kind,” an easy but upbeat hip-hop tune that I anticipate will be heard at college campuses and trendy retail stores across the country. Carter Schultz and David von Mering’s feel-good rhymes are far from poetic, but they’re perfect for the eclectic sound and lively mood that Aer creates.

I didn’t find “Keep You Here” or “Position” to have many standout qualities, although the brief use of the trumpet at the two-minute mark on “Keep You Here” was a pleasant surprise and an excellent production choice.

“I Can’t Help It” is similar to “One of a Kind” in style, again utilizing a combination of hip-hop and rock influences to produce a signature Aer love song. Arguably the musical standout of the album, “Colors In The Sky (Interlude)” is a jazzy, atmospheric hip-hop tune that’s vaguely reminiscent of the work of late Japanese hip-hop producer Nujabes. Being my favorite song on the album, my biggest disappointment was that it wasn’t longer.

The production on One of a Kind is its biggest standout, as it borrows elements from nearly every genre and blends them seamlessly. Each song on the album is a headphone-thumping force, and it’s accentuated further when listened to on a quality sound system. This should come as a victory for band member David von Mering, who co-produced the album along with Printz Board and Teddy Geiger.

The album hits its stride at this point and finishes strong with the final five songs. “I’m So Gone” and “Island” are good kickback songs to rap along to while “The Rain” is a soulful acoustic tune that closes the album on a lighthearted note.

Overall, One of a Kind is a light and fun hip-hop album. I had trouble finding any reggae influences here, but Aer does an excellent job of using a multitude of genres in their music, particularly rock, hip-hop, and jazz. The subject matter of Aer’s music seems to be directed towards a young demographic, and I worry that they’ll struggle to win over fans outside of that 18-25 demo with this album. As strong as the production value is here, I felt that the band struggled in terms of lyricism. The only memorable lyrics in my opinion were in the opening description of “Trust Fund” and in “The Rain.”

Despite these shortcomings, I consider One of a Kind to be one of the top feel-good releases of the year, and another strong release from one of the most consistent up and coming groups in music today.

Written & Reviewed By: Andrew Aroche

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]

Listen: Aer – “One of a Kind”