After listening to ‘Spin So Long’ from Dick Aven, it’s hard to comprehend that he’s played each instrument that’s sewn into the soundscape. Yet, the Tennessee based singer-songwriter surely has. Dick Aven’s most recent album is a perfectly eclectic accumulation of tracks. It’s impossible to pin down the genre of this album, I’d be too scared of boxing in the colourful musical personality. For an artist with such a rich history as a musician, it’s easy to guess why. Dick Aven has been the saxophonist for a host of musicians including The Tuscaloosa Horns, The Temptations and recently tenor sax with The Big Band of Brothers. He’s also secured a record deal as one half of a folk-pop group and been a force to be reckoned with as a studio musician. So, it’s no wonder why there are currents of rock and roll, blues, jazz and soul swimming throughout its sonic landscape.
Dick’s signature saxophone is a comforting constant throughout the whole album. It decorates each track with refreshing refrains and wildly impressive runs. There are two vocalists in this album, Dick Aven and the astoundingly articulated sax sentences. Speaking of vocals, Dick Aven’s vocals on this album are golden. His unique tone melts into the mood of each track. ‘Fly Into The Fire’ boasts a vibrant vocal performance from Dick. He effortlessly swings into falsetto, but only just for a moment, allowing the tender side of his tone to reign. Then, as quickly as he climbed up, he cascades down to command us once again. His melodies meander through the groovy guitars, intricate percussion and thick saxophone lines of the track. Yet, the earthy air of Dick’s vocal can’t help but take centre stage. The title track ‘Spin So Long’ also shows off his impressive range. His saxophone punctuates his melodies perfectly, creating a beautiful duet quality that dances throughout the whole album. The poetry of the lyrics throughout the whole album is captivating, yet ‘Weightless’ stands out for me most. It really feels like Dick Aven is asking us to go within, ask ourselves the questions he poses and find for ourselves what makes us feel as light as a feather. ‘Spin So Long’ is a melting pot of moods and genres. This is an album that feels like the result of a lifetime of musical expression. It’s bold, unapologetic and daringly unique. Oh, and one hell of a good listen.
Listen to ‘Spin So Long’ on SPOTIFY NOW
By Sasha Lauryn