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Phil Aiken: Press

Keyboardist Phil Aiken must be like these guys who habitually volunteer for overtime. He's currently playing with Buffalo Tom, Delta Clutch and Crown Victoria, yet these commitments evidently haven't filled his dance card. He wrote all 10 songs for this solo project, recorded it all in his home studio and mixed all but two of the tracks. Don't Look Down must fall in the “this is what I do in my spare time” category for Aiken, and it's a helluva extra project. Aiken is a popmeister when it comes to songwriting/arranging, but that's not to say he's either glib or formulaic in his approach. Rather he's a lyricist with something to say and a knack for conveying those lyrics via some very polished arrangements. “man Overboard” is something of a mixology marvel: The arrangement has a remarkable density to it, yet in the listening, it's the upbeat fluidity of the tune that catches the ear. “Lose Yourself”, on the other hand, is a much more dour lyric, delivered via a guitar-rock vehicle with a good deal of punch and a very hooky chorus. For something different yet again, check “Edison”, the pop ballad that wanted to be a waltz. Aiken has masterminded an accessible slice of rock artistry with Don't Look Down.
Philip Van Vleck - CMJ Music Monthly