Ari Gold’s third studio album Transport Systems is classic hip-hop-influenced dance pop. The melodies feel nicked from Britney and the boy bands of the last decade, but without the catchiness. Ten years ago, few could help singing along with Brit and the boys–whether at the club or in the car on the way to work. The songs on Transport Systems are not so infectious. Still, the album is perfect for the club. The beats feel good. What really makes you stop and listen to Ari Gold has nothing to do with the music. It’s the lyrics.
In each song, Gold relays his experiences and his perspective on life as a gay man. Never before has a gay man been so open and straightforward about his sexuality in music. Gold calls himself a “homofessional gaylebrity, ” and it’s a dead-on description. It fits him much more than the “political pop” genre bestowed on him by critics. Gold is too refined for politics. He doesn’t preach gay rights. Rather he gracefully suggests tolerance by offering his perspective and his experiences to the listener. He tells his stories bluntly, unapologetically. By infusing classic hip-hop with outwardly gay lyrics, he could possibly change the world.
By Anney E. J. Ryan