Fair – The Best Worst-Case Scenario
Release Date: June 6, 2006
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Aaron Sprinkle gets around. Most know him as esteemed producer of such acts Pedro the Lion, Acceptance, Eisley and most recently, Rocky Votolato’s Makers. What most of you won’t know is Sprinkle’s touch and go projects—both solo and group efforts—as a musician, first as guitarist of Seattle group Poor Old Lu, where Sprinkle began his DIY producing, and later when he worked under his own name with such albums as Kindest Days, Bareface and Lackluster. Since Lackluster’s release in 2004, the name Aaron Sprinkle has only shown in liner notes and thank you’s. But thanks to Sprinkle’s newest band, Fair, the Seattle foursome engage a broad range of listeners with an accessible self-produced, indie-pop release, The Best Worst-Case Scenario. Fair’s lineup with Sprinkle includes Erick Newbill, Nick Barber and Joey Sanchez and while the band is headed by Sprinkle’s willingness to make music again, all members of Fair contribute several instruments and producing talents.
Thankfully, Fair strays from former Sprinkle ventures giving old fans a new side to enjoy. The Best Worst-Case Scenario handles themes of hope and understanding while not distracting you from acrobatic musicianship but rather poetic and genuine songwriting that indelibly parallels the lyrical content and mood of each song. Where any other album from any other genre on any other part of he world can tell you all about the rollercoaster ride that is love—falling into it, fall out of it, the consequences and beauties—Fair tackles issues of trust and acceptance (“Pause”). With any situation comes actions and reactions, blessings and circumstances, misunderstandings and compromises. What Fair does instead of drenching listeners with an invariable superficial romance songs and ballads, is speak against the reality of human characteristics. Other tracks display the sheer talent of stable song structures (“Monday”) and unregretful and unsaturated songs that will most likely find a spot in college radio (“Carelessness”). Other standout tracks include jaunty tunes like “Bide My Crime” and somber swoons such as “Blurry Eyed.”
By far the most prominent track on the album is “Unglued.” The five-minute song uses calming percussions matched with a collapsing guitars that showcase Sprinkle’s vocals as he sings “This is the first thing I can remember, I came unglued / Last on board when the ship went down.” Not only does he reach rather defiantly high octaves but they are accompanied by the Sherri and Stacy Dupree (the sisters of Eisley).
While The Best Worst-Case Scenario will most likely get looked over by several summer releases, I’m putting Fair towards the top of my list for 2006. It is both positive and real, abrasive and gentle, honest and cautious. Fair arrest your attention with an aesthetic and effortless ambiance that digs into relative human emotions combined with an indispensable sound. The Best Worst-Case Scenario surfaces as constant reminder that excess isn’t a recipe for originality.
Fantastic album, not a single weak track on it, and one of the top 5 of the year right now. Terrific lasting value as well. I did find it interesting how you barely talked about the actual music in this review though. There's background, lyrics, and merely a few sentances on how it sounds. I would have liked to see some comparisons to other bands or a more detailed description of Aaron's voice and the style of music for people that have never heard Fair before. However, it's one of your better written reviews, so big ups.
I have already checked some of the songs out because of you Gabe but you should have mentioned maybe a little bit more about the music with some comparisons so people on the fence might want to check it out more. Did that make sense?