AHI: In Our Time (22nd Century, marketed & distributed by Thirty Tigers)
Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
There are never too many stellar voices in popular music. So when another one shows up on the scene, it just adds to the talent already in existence. So enter AHI (pronounced eye), who has a 100 year voice. It is like velvet and melted butter. Personally, I don’t think I have heard a voice move me that much since the first time I heard Seal, back in the early 90s.
In Out Time definitely leans toward the poppier side. But as I have said before, there is nothing wrong with pop music as long as it is executed properly. AHI knows how to execute. The writing is solid, the music and vocals are great and timely, but the voice is what really steals the show.
I was not prepared for the power and beauty of AHI’s voice. I don’t think any track properly displays AHI’s voice any better than The Honest One (Track 6). This song is a mix of Otis Redding soul mixed with the pop sensibilities and song craftsmanship of The Beatles. This track is simply magic. One listen just doesn’t do this track justice.
There is such interesting percussion in the beginning of The Architect’s Hand(Track 4) that it completely sucks you in. And without resistance. Who would want to resist this. The lyrics and story telling are extremely vivid and not only tell a story, they paint a visual picture. Mission accomplished.
As the album begins to draw to a close, On My Side(Track 10) is the perfect song to wind down with. It is inspirational and uplifting and pays homage to that person that is always there. Hopefully, everyone has one of those in their lives. This track really does have “hit” written all over it. The acoustic guitar riff at the start is totally infectious.
In conclusion, this is a total buy recommendation. The vocals are worth the investment alone. But then you have thought provoking lyrics, great production and mixing, and great instrumentation. If this were a stock pick, I would say there is value here and I wouldn’t be wrong. Value = potential, and AHI has buckets of it.