Jethro Tull's Aqualung is a destitute, phlegmy pedophile redeemed by one of the greatest of all classic rock riffs. Matt Hales' Aqualung is mostly just himself: a neo-classical piano-pop crooner with a sweet Volkswagen commercial deal. Careers have been built on less, and while Hale has yet to equal the success of the 2002 hit "Strange and Beautiful," he's made consistently modest, melody-addicted records that nearly overcome his Coldplay influence. He recently moved from the UK to LA, and the just-released album Magnetic North reflects that change. The twelve songs unfold like a warm and lively emotional weather report, suggesting as much pre-shark-launch Billy Joel as they do the humane formalism of maestros like Brian Wilson.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.