Genre: Acoustic, Singer/Songwriter, Soft Rock, Folk Rock
Similar Artists: Trent Dabbs, Fleetwood Mac, David Ramirez, Andy Gullahorn, Milow, Robert Francis, The Autumn Defense, Patty Griffin, Boy & Bear, Doobie Brothers, The Autumn Defense, Tyler James, Fort Frances, Hem, Robert Kelly, Yuna, Resurrection Lake, The Likes of Us, Marble Sounds, The Novel Ideas
Online: Official Website, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, iTunes
- Untitled, Part 2
- Winter of Yes
- Concrete Sky
- Know Where
- All Because
- The Fire Plays
- For a Little While
- Couldn’t Have Her
- Set in Stone
- Last So Long
- Something to Look Forward To
Over the past year or so, I’ve become acquainted with a host of talented musicians on account of Noisetrade. It was late last year that I listened to some tracks by Ari Hest and took an immediate liking to his music. I was reminded of artists such as Trent Dabbs, Boy & Bear and at times Patty Griffin. I will be describing the album using comparisons to songs by other artists.
The Fire Plays offers up eleven easy listening and acoustic rock tracks. It begins with the soft-spoken Untitled, Part 2, a song that has an ethereal and dreamy quality that reminds me of The Autumn Defense’s Once Around, the title track from their 2010 album. The second song Winter of Yes is a personal favorite, a piano-centered song that reminds me of Wake Up Call by Trent Dabbs from his 2010 album Your Side Now. The third track Concrete Sky is oddly reminiscent of Andy Gullahorn’s Any Other Way from his 2009 album The Law of Gravity. The fourth song Know Where for some reason reminds me of The Blue Between Us from The Novel Ideas’ 2012 album Home. The fifth song All Because brings to mind Ghosts of California by Fort Frances from their 2010 release The Atlas. The sixth track The Fire Plays is reminiscent of Some Things Never Change by Robert Francis from his 2013 sampler album The Noisetrade Collection. The seventh song For a Little While is easily compared to Yuna’s Planes from her 2011 self-titled album. The eighth song Couldn’t Have Her is a slower song best compared to Somebody Else’s Death by Resurrection Lake from their 2012 release Quiet Despair. The ninth song Set in Stone brings to mind House & Farm by Boy & Bear from their 2011 album Moonfire. The tenth song Last So Long has a few chords that remind me of James Taylor’s Fire & Rain. The eleventh and final song on the album is Something To Look Forward To is a difficult one to pin, so I have decided to leave out a comparison this time around.
My favorite song on this album is without a doubt Winter of Yes as it never fails to bring a smile to my face. That being said, there is enough variation with the album as a whole to make it well worth the purchase for fans of adult contemporary and acoustic rock. The songwriting is solid, with a strong storytelling element for each track. Just as a sidenote, the order of the songs on the album do appear to have some relevance during play so be sure to listen to them as per the numeric arrangement to get the most out of this aurally pleasing collection of songs.
For those interested in listening to some of his live performances, his management has permitted the release of a bunch of live concerts via a page at Archive.org in 2002 under specific guidelines. You can find it here. If you like what you hear, be sure to show your appreciation by letting others know via word-of-mouth and other forms of communication. Be sure to also check out Ari Hest’s youtube channel as listed towards the beginning of this review.