It is fair to say that the word “eclectic” and the name Dick Aven belong in the same sentence. In fact, one should never be allowed to leave the house without the other close by and this fantastic album proves my case beyond any doubt.
It also makes another important point. Eclectic isn’t the same as erratic or meandering or off-beat…though there are some wonderfully off-beat and left-field moments to be found here. No, to be truly eclectic you have to have mastered many musical skills and styles. Diverging from the safety of a song’s musical comfort zone is easy enough, the art is to be able to find your way back. without getting lost. Do that and you find that you have an album that is both creative and cohesive, challenging and concise.
Songs like No Clue forge a path through 60’s singer-songwriter and cosmic country styles, Moments Face to Face have a wonderful, chamber pop quality, drawing a line between the likes of Elton John’s more considered moments and Paul McCartney’s subtle creativity and the title track itself is a shimmering, sonic and delicate slice.
But it all sounds like Dick Aven….and that is the art, that is what he does so well, that is what sets him apart from the pack.