Apologize to Yourself
Ariel Belont's Apologize To Yourself is a seriously rocking album. It comes off as a mix between the Black Crowes bluesy insouciance and Aerosmith's cockeyed swagger. Toss in some Lenny Kravitz strut, maybe some of KISS's jailbait philosophizing, and you've got something to impress your friends as you blast it out of your car speakers on a Friday night. There are a lot of other acts traveling a similar path these days and it is hard to explain why this record works so well when so many others sound weak and studied. Maybe it is the tough, but clean, production by Mark 'Muddy' Dutton. Most likely it is the songs. They are catchy with singalong choruses, with some hand claps and glam stomp beats. 'Stand Up,' 'Soul Train,' and 'Revelation Song' are tight, raw, and flashy rockers. Ariel Belont has a great rock voice. He croons pretty well, too, as he shows on the wonderfully epic 'Abbey Road'-styled ballad 'Come Around' It is a sure sign that you are dealing with an artist that has it all together when the ballads are as good as the rockers. 'Believe' is a acoustic-based weeper with some swelling strings that launches into John Lennon's territory, 'End Of Summer' is an early-'70s Zeppelinesque ballad with some fine guitar work. Apologize To Yourself is a very promising debut by an artist that steals from all the right places, rocks non-ironically - even epically at times - and sounds great blasting out of a car or on headphones.