Leon : Aaron Brooks is an American singer-songwriter (yes, that’s right) who is releasing his first solo album this year. In 2011 he moved to Germany with his psychedelic rock band Simeon Soul Charger, because this is where the band had a larger fanbase. Unfortunately the group disbanded five years later, which was the moment when Brooks decided to express his own creativity by writing songs for a solo album. 'Homunculus' is the result of two years of writing and recording, and is now being released this year by Gentle Art Of Music, a reliable source of progressive acts from Germany.
It's a bit too far of a stretch to say that 'Homunculus' is a progressive rock album, but there are certainly some elements present. I find the influences of psychedelic and sixties / seventies rock much more apparent. In fact, certain songs strongly remind me of The Beatles! Aaron Brooks is clearly not your average singer-songwriter, so don’t confuse the man with a John Mayer or Ed Sheeran. The aforementioned influences are also expressed through the sound of the album, especially the instrumentation, which sounds dated but without it being experienced as something disruptive, which I have experienced on different records. The vocals of Brooks certainly do not sound dated, he can also sing very well, and often knows how to sing interesting melodies! I personally find his texts a bit too direct ("all the tiny fingers of the Chinese children, make my cloths that I wear "), he is also quite critical on a number of topics that may irritate some people. In addition to the criticism on cheap labor in Asian countries, he expresses his dissatisfaction with today’s consumer behavior, where one spends their money on trivial objects and doesn’t enjoy life enough. Agree with him or not, musically it is sound and I must also say that it’s a unique album.
If musically everything is good, then the last thing that’s important is taste and I must honestly say that I do think that 'Homunculus' quite a nice album but it just doesn’t excite me. I think this album would be better suited to people who are a fan of older psychedelic or even symphonic rock acts, especially Pink Floyd, Queen, or The Beatles. Aaron Brooks can look back on a nice and successful debut album, yet I wonder what this album will do in this day and age. I fear that many people, like me, aren’t going to love it, even though we can appreciate the music.