The Aaron Clift Experiment -
The Age Of Misinformation

(CD 2023, 46:41, The Aaron Clift Experiment)

The tracks:
  1- The Age Of Misinformation(4:56)
  2- L.I.A.R.(5:14)
  3- Bet On Zero(10:43)
  4- Dark Secrets(3:34)
  5- Rise(5:55)
  6- The Color Of Flight(5:44)
  7- Málaga(4:49)
  8- Weight Of The World(5:46)

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The Aaron Clift Experiment is based in Austin, Texas and was formed in 2012. At the moment they have released four studio albums. The first release was Lonely Hills from 2012, the second was Outer Light, Inner Darkness from 2015 (see review), the third was If All Goes Wrong from 2018 (see review) and now there is The Age Of Misinformation.

In the history of The Aaron Clift Experiment there were several players in the band. No one in the current line-up was in the band on earlier albums, except Aaron Clift, founder of the band. Aaron is the vocalist and plays the keyboards, Anthony Basini plays the guitar and does the backing vocals, Clif Warren plays the bass and Pablo Ranlett-López plays the drums and percussion. There are a lot of guest musicians, too many to mention and there is also in one song a real Brass Band, the Big Wy's Brass Band.

I had the honor to review the previous album, If All Goes Wrong. My conclusion was that the album surely had its moments, but too many times I missed the central theme in the music. I rated the album with 3 stars. Now we are almost 5 years further in history and is it time for The Age Of Misinformation to see the light of day. Did Aaron read my review and did he think I was right with my conclusion, or did he repeat the 2018 album now and were there too many ideas for the music again? Well, just read further to learn more from my experience with this new music.

The album opener is the title track, The Age Of Misinformation. Music slowly comes to you, you hear heavy guitar riffs , while there are several journalists that are willing to let you know the information that comes to you in the world, surely is not the truth. When the journalists are ready with their story, melodic rock enters. It sounds powerful and varied. Aaron has a fine voice and a great range. This song is a good one to open the album. Sometimes heavy, but not too heavy. The drumming is nice in this one. Actually all players do a good job.

L.I.A.R. is the second one. Drums and basses enter, just like the keys. Aaron grabs you with his voice and it all sounds fine. It is a good rocker with nice guitar parts. Sometimes there are harmony vocals and a grin on your face is the result, listen to it is the advice. The rhythm section is exeptional, well done.

Then it is time for the brass band in Bet On Zero. The music whams out of your speaker. This one is completely different from the first two songs. Imagine the biggest brass band you know and that is exactly what you get here. Besides the brass section I need to tell you that there is a great guitar solo too and also a whamming bass you can consider. Ever heard a long trumpet solo or saxophone solo in prog music? Here it is. Towards the end of the song there is a drum-section lasting almost two minutes and I totally do not understand why the band chose for that. For me the song was ready after 7 minutes and then it was fantastic for me. Now I feel a bit of what I experienced in this albums predecessor . The end of the song is another moment with good brass and the vocals from Aaron are top notch.

Dark Secrets is the next one. It starts slowly and after a while heavy guitars enter. Some good riffing on the guitars. The song has various moods and swings, for me it is a good one, rocking the hell out of you. The title says it all: dark secrets.

Rise is the fifth one. There are harmony vocals in the song that are good for the ears. This song reminds me of Queen, but I cannot put my finger on why, it is a feeling. Halfway great guitar riffs that helps the vocals of Aaron, original. The keyboard is more prominent in this song, just as happy guitar solos. This song makes me happy!

The Color Of Flight is a more relaxed song. A lot happened in the previous songs so it is more than welcome for an easier and calmer song. Beautifully sung by Aaron and helped with violin, that is what we get here. To me this is breathtakingly beautiful.

Málaga takes you back to the eighties rhythmically and keyboard wise. The song is not that difficult, more straight forward. The emphasis is on the lyrics and vocals. It is nice the violin say hi to you again on this one.

It is time for the album closer, Weight Of The World. Again Aaron's voice is the eye-catcher. He has a wide variety and that makes this song good to listen to. Musically it is again not too difficult, a nice song with good guitar parts and a steady rhythm section.

All in all I can say that this albums sounds a bit better to me then the last one. There are less excesses left and right, so it stays a little more in the middle without being dull. There are plenty of nice outings never heard in the prog before, but it is more cohesive.

The songs I enjoyed the most on this album are Bet On Zero (the first 7 minutes), The Color Of Flight, The Age Of Misinformation and Rise.

**** Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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