CD Review

Tom Aragon - "Heaven & Earth"

By Mike Ventarola

Heaven & EarthHad we been in a time capsule transported back about 300 years, Tom Aragon would be heralded as mightily as the great composers of the day. Aragon tackles instrumentally every nuance and subtle flavor in the vast body of work he has thus far composed and created. The styles vary so widely that I took the liberty of listing the artist's definition of each song rather than attempt to categorize the music with a sweeping one word description. This particular CD is among a vast number of compositions he has created that are readily available at for listeners to enjoy. Not only is the music a breathe of fresh air, but the graphics used on many of his other CDs are among the most beautiful that have been viewed in quite some time. Make no mistake, Tom Aragon is in this for the long haul and will become an industry major player before long. The appealing thing about Aragon's work is the skillful way he utilizes sounds to evoke the most vivid mental pictures. The music can be utilized as background sound for meditation and, more importantly, to de-stress from the hazards of a typical work day. This particular CD provides the vocal talents of Lizette, another MP3 featured artist, who brings greater depth to the songs she is on.

Coming Home evokes wonderful memories of all the good things we associate with "home." Yet, each listen demonstrates the uncanny ability to further create other mental pictures for exploration. The music gently opens with an almost angelic high note, pulling us into the waters of memory. The centering high notes play gently with the deeper timbers that unfold in colorful kaleidoscopes which provide snippets of ones past. In some ways this song can also be seen as devotional in a sense, a rebirth of a weary soul cleansed by the gentle scrubbing of sound.

Breathe features vocalist Lizette in a very radio friendly song that opens with dark almost ominous electronic notes. We are faced with the reality of all that is wrong with the world and how learning to "breathe" will make you a winner. I could probably spend 5 pages telling the readers just how marvelous this song and this vocalist is, but I really hope you sample it for yourselves. This song is an anthem for the weekday warriors who have to deal with the daily grind of the 9-5. It is an homage to the thought provoking people of this generation who ask authority "why" to things they cannot explain. DJs, get this song into your playlist as soon as you can!

From Lead To Gold gently unfurls like alchemical magic. One can almost visualize a lump of lead that slowly transforms from a heavy solid object into a precious metal. This is also a transformation of a "leaden" soul, burdened by the debris of daily life, to unfold upon a restful cloud of transformation and serenity. Pukalani segues from the previous song. Distant vocals envelope the listener into a gently revolving vortex, again musically stripping away the barrenness of the soul to penetrate with angelic tranquility. Lost City has a steel drum effect in addition to the meshing of additional ethereal sounds which pulls the listener towards a variety of cultures and lost cities across the continents. It is easy to envision flying with a birds eye view, trailing across the sky surveying Mayan Pyramids or verdant jungle covered ruins from another forgotten age.

Indigo is like a walk in a rain forest at twilight. It is truly amazing how sound is utilized to evoke that feeling of walking amongst the night creatures that lurk within the underbrush or treetops. This song continues to play with so many images that to just recite one or two would do it an injustice. Fractal deftly creates a brushstroke against silk, velvet, lace and cherrywood. Bittersweet in tone with a sense of longing and hopefulness imbued within the texture. Mid range piano notes carry us as brilliantly as any magnum opus written by our greatest composers. It almost has a turn of the century feel to it with modern updates to make it remain fresh for tomorrow. On The Otherside shimmers like stepping through Alice's glass from Wonderland. Dark vortex sound revolves while other notes and vocal harmony glide us across into a world of surrealistic delight. This is a very tranquil cut that has many layers of sound that caress the listener into a sense of hypnotic splendor.

Childhood's End opens with actual thunder sounds. Rippling musical notes accompany other natural sounds to provide a vista for an evolution of man's awakened soul traversing across the next dimension of optimal growth and understanding and ultimately, enlightenment. Awakening Heart was dedicated in loving memory to Tina Jean by the artist. The sounds bend around multiple layers to provide another thought provoking track. It reverberates with many expansions and contractions to imbue the transformation of a soul crossing past the human level over to the unknown region. Gentle piano segues with the song which again has a bittersweet tone that clutches the heartstrings of the listener yet also provides some solace with the positive undertone of a better voyage ahead. This cut can truly force tears from your eyes if you can entwine your mind around the music to allow the propensity of passion and feeling to come forward.

Holy Ground is an electric blues cut which makes me think of all the great rock stars jamming in heaven on a nightly basis. This song embodies the body electric in sheer muse like inspiration wafting from the nether regions. If this is what heaven sounds like, it will be a funky time for all! Mystic Warrior has a delicious middle eastern opening which rocks into a guitar, synth and drum kick that is another cut that DJs should consider on their playlist to get a crowd moving. I can envision this song blasting from a car stereo down a long highway in the middle of nowhere. In some ways, we are each a mystic warrior, trying to define our niche in the cosmic scheme of things. It has been said that the strong are patient. This song creates a feeling that the strong are musically and visually inspired as well.

Heaven & Earth distributes Aragon's work and collaborations that do not sugar coat the reality of life. We are welcomed into the world of animated sound to allow it to pull from us things we need to look at. The music is inspired as much as it is inspiring. These are sounds created by one who has seen a lot in life but does not allow the soul to get bogged into the morass of immobilization and disassociation with the world we must all live in. Among the many reviews written thus far, this artist continues to remain a challenge since the music is such a "live" entity that insists on recreating itself with each listen. Such depth and skill to create music that can broaden the imagination such as this, can only be attributed to a musical genius. Don't take my word for it though. Instead, get over to and listen to the voluminous body of work of Tom Aragon has created. Close your eyes while the music is playing and you too will become one of the inspired ones, set loose by the muse like influence that guides this artist and transports our souls.

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