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CD Review - Ari Hest 'Twelve Mondays'

Ari Hest makes every song count on
Ari Hest makes every song count on "Twelve Mondays." (By Reid Rolls)
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Friday, April 24, 2009

ARI HEST "Twelve Mondays" Self-Released

AN URBANE folk-rocker with a sonorous baritone, Ari Hest sounds like a man out of time. His sort of music was once the province of major labels, and Hest did release two albums on Columbia, the latest one in 2007. But the relationship soured, and he decided to go it alone. Hest declared his independence with a project he called "52," a new song every week of last year.

Now the Bronx native has reworked his fans' top picks from "52" for the more manageable "Twelve Mondays." The material ranges from the mildly funky "Binoculars" to the slightly treacly "Cranberry Lake," and the embellishments include strings, pedal steel guitar and female vocals. A cooing soprano energizes "One Two," while a Byrds-style jangle lifts "I'll Be There," a tune whose punch line is unusually wry for Hest: "I'll be there/To make you miserable," the chorus jauntily promises. There may be more twists like that among the other 40 songs Heist penned in 2008, but most of "Twelve Mondays" is skillful, pretty and straightforward.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Saturday with Rosi Golan at Jammin Java (703-255-1566, http://www.jamminjava.com). Show starts at 10 p.m.


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