Monday, January 20, 2014

Aijia - "Learning to Let Go" EP Review


[Disclaimer: If you came here looking for a professional review of an EP you've probably, most definitely never heard of, then you've come to the wrong place. I'm in no way, shape or form part of a music magazine/blog/newspaper (music newspaper? Is that a thing? Probably not.). I'm just your (not-so) average music loving fan girl. One with fantastic taste in music. So really, even if you're looking for something professional and polished, stay for a bit. Read this, discover some cool music. I won't bite. Unless you're into that sort of thing. I won't say no. Just sayin'. - Considering I just wrote a very long thing about not being a professional, I should still point out that I'm not receiving any monetary compensation for this review. Though again, I wouldn't say no to that either. I'd also like to point out, to those who have never read any of my blog entries, I'm very random. I try to be funny, sometimes it works, other times...yeah, no, let's be honest: I'm not that funny. Also, the typos. Dear God, the typos. Oh and the grammar. Geez. - I'd also like to apologize in advance for...things. Just in case. I'll try to behave but most of you know how that usually goes. - Trust me. Just trust me.]

Still with me? Good, that means I haven't scared you. Don't fret, there's still plenty of blog space for that. 

Under normal circumstances, I would start out by telling you how it is I discovered the musician of who I'm writing about, but not this time. It's a weird story. One that no one needs to know. (Aijia, if you're reading this, you'll be the only person who will ever hear it!) 

Now, if you know me well, then you know that I can count on 3 fingers the number of female singers I love. They hold a special place in my heart. I'm not sure what it is but my standards seem to be pretty high when it comes to the ladies. That actually seems so much worse now that I'm admitting it. I can't explain it. Don't ask me to. I can't. So let's just move on, OK? OK. 

-Please Welcome, Aijia.-

Aijia (yes, it's pronounced like the continent. No you shouldn't make a lame joke. She's heard them all. She'll kick you.) is a musician who hales? hailes? none of the above? dammit! comes to us from a small, not-so-well-known place called Los Angeles. It's in California. For those of you non-Spanish speakers, that loosely translates to "The Angels". 

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Aijia's EP "Learning to Let Go" was released in November 2012. 

In her EPK video, Aijia says "I grew up on a lot of jazz..." and credits people like Ella Fitzgerald, Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse as major influences. 

It wasn't until after I'd listened to her EP several times, that I came across that video and I immediately said "Yes! I KNEW IT!" And I did. It's very apparent that she's been heavily influenced by jazz and these powerhouse musicians. - In my personal experience, this is the first time I've ever discovered someone whose influences are so obvious in the music. And let me tell you, it's a beautiful thing. 

-Track by Track- [Another disclaimer: Music is open to interpretation. I honestly believe there is no right or wrong. This is mine.]

The first song on the EP is the title track, "Learning to Let Go". - I don't think there is one person in the world who hasn't said they wanted to be in a certain place in life by a certain age. Marriage? Career? Yes and yes. But life has this silly/scary/frustrating way of detouring us. It takes some of us a bit longer to get there. And this song is about being OK with that, as heartbreaking and spirit-destroying as it may be along the way. Sometimes things don't happen at all. But maybe, just maybe that just means something better will come along. 

Favorite lyrics: "I know I'm gonna find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I may be walking blind and my journey might be slow, in the mean time, you know I'm learning to let go." 

The second track is a song called "Parachute". This song is all about letting yourself fall in love. No fear, no barriers. Let every single thing that comes with love just be. Whatever happens, happens. 

Favorite lyrics: "Here I am, here I am again, on the brink of handing him all the world if he asked me to. Oh well."

The third track is called "Searchlight". OK look, I have to say this: Sonically, this is my favorite song from the EP. It has a touch of orchestra. If that even makes sense. It's fun and upbeat. - This song is about being with someone who pulls you out of your darkest moments just in the the nick of time. 

Favorite Lyrics: "You're the searchlight in my dark night. When I'm lost at sea, you find me. You're my searchlight and you're so bright. When I'm sinking deep, you rescue me. We all need someone, only one who will pull you through."

The fourth and final track is a song called "Good Cry". Damn, this song. It's my favorite both lyrically and vocally. Aijia's gorgeous, amazing, beautiful, soulful, perfect voice shines through in this one. - I don't think I could adequately descbribe this song. So I think I'll let you sneak a peek for yourself. Here's a the official video. The arrangement in the video is different than the EP version but still every bit as amazing. 

Favorite Lyric: "It is what it is, I'm not gonna die. Things could be worse. I just need a good cry. It's not what I planned but it'll be fine. I've been through worse. I just need a good cry."



Now then. I'll give you a moment to retrieve your jaw from the floor. Go on. 

You good? Good. 

There you have it. Four songs, four stories. One EP from a ridiculously talented woman. 

In a world of twerking, weird costumes, and all around too many "What the hell!" moments, it's nice to find someone whose voice and stories knock you down then pick you back up and kiss your pain away. Now if we could just get rid of the weird and let the real stars shine through, the [music] world would be a much better place. 

Thank you for getting this far. Please follow the lovely Aijia on Twitter at @AijiaMusic, LIKE her page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AijiaMusic and check out her EP on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/learning-to-let-go-ep/id582763695 

If you're a fan of: Ryan Star, David Cook, Daughtry, SafetySuit, Sara Bareilles, and/or Kelly Clarkson, I think we should get her name out there. In my humble opinion, she would make a perfect tour-mate. Mostly because I'm in love with all of the above and I would die a wonderful death if she could come to Phoenix with any or all of them. - A headlining tour would work too. Just saying. 

OK, now I'm done. Once again, thank you.