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NEW MUSIC REVIEW! -- More than Fair...

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FairThe Best Worst-Case Scenario

Grade: A  (**** Four Stars)

By Dr. Tony Shore

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The perfect alternative-pop record…is there such a thing?

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The new Seattle band Fair comes dangerously close. The band features artist and producer extraordinaire Aaron Sprinkle (vocals, keys, guitar, programming) along with Joey Sanchez (drums), Eric Newbill (guitars, backing vocals) and Nick Barber (bass). Artists and insiders have been raving about Aaron’s solo work and production skills for a long time, especially in the Seattle area, but he’s never really broken out on a national level or had commercial success. The deftly titled debut from Fair, The Best Worst-Case Scenario, should change all that.

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The opening 4 tracks are hook-filled melodic gold, especially “Monday” and “The Dumbfound Game.” You’re going to hear everything from elements of lush, orchestrated pop to unforgettable distorted guitar riffs. This album will appeal to fans of UK buzz bands like Coldplay, yet it’s actually more diverse and interesting than that… Fans of Superdrag, Sam Ashworth and Mute Math should really get into this one. There is a real Brit-pop influence that is accentuated by Aaron’s beautiful, somewhat understated vocals and the keyboards and programming that linger underneath and around the real guitars, bass and drums. The album also features some great guest performances from members of Eisley and from John Davis of Superdrag.

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While the album as a whole is consistent, the track “Get You Out Alive” is as good as it gets with a hook you won’t forget. I don’t remember the last time I heard big, infectious drum tracks and grooves like this… think of the Simple Minds hit “Don’t you Forget About Me” from the Breakfast Club movie. It also features emotive lyrics that hit you hard, “Love lost in large amounts. Not very far from where you are. Past all the streets and shady trees. The biggest house in town. No matter where you go, I’ll get you out alive. Before it’s far too late to stand softly by. Love drawn from bank accounts runs out of funds before too long.” "Cut Down Sideways" is another gem with pounding drums, a catchy chorus, quirky keyboards and lyrics with a side of sadness that will actually make you think. Many of the songs deal with fear of relationships, of life and of other issues we all deal with and how these can ultimately end in pain or hope, based on the choices that we make. If John Hughes were still making movies, this would be the perfect soundtrack.

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Fair has managed to mix an incredible blend of harmonies, sweet pop vocals and an amazing sense of melody with beautiful production and sound. If there is any justice left in the music business this album will be a critically acclaimed smash.

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Check out the official Fair website here: www.fairforever.com

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