Rich Aucoin – Ephemeral


Second albums are sometimes important because they show ways in which an artist is trying to evolve or improve. Ephemeral, the second album from Rich Aucoin, is more of a polished, synth-based sound. Synths are not new for Aucoin, but they take prominence here. There’s a focus to this album that has Aucoin emphasizing the bombast that he had used on We’re All Dying to Live. The songs are catchy and powerful, exuding populist euphoria; it’s like listening to a collective burst of excitement. This is often underscored by a multitude of vocalists sing-shouting choruses, as on “Want to Believe” and “Four More Years.” Maybe more importantly, Ephemeral more than halves the number of tracks than the previous album, giving the whole album strength by virtue of its leanness. In spite of all the positive, Ephemeral falls into something of a loud chorus trap. It’s pretty easy to see how these songs could whip a crowd into a frenzy, but song after song of this eventually lessens the strength of emotion. Though a great album, one recorded over three years should have more to get excited over than just how excited it is. (Bonsound, Devin King