Release date: May 2002
"Story After Story" is Ari Hest's breakthrough album released in 2002, under his own independent recording label, Project 4. "Story After Story," is well polished and solid in all aspects. From a voice reminiscent of John Mayer's and Pete Yorn's but with more intensity and zeal, to the catchy beats, innovative sound and thought-provoking lyrics, the album is sure to not only leave an impression on listeners, but amaze them.
"I would hope people will recognize me as a good songwriter and melody writer," said Hest. "I want to write great songs that stand out to listeners and make them say 'damn, that was a good song' after they hear it."
From smooth melodies to upbeat tempos, Hest combines a radio-friendly voice with an array of instruments that enhance each song. From the soft strum of a cello to hints of an accordion here and there, the musical arrangement is powerful providing melodies of melancholy.
On the album opener, "They're On To Me," Hest's energy is abundant. A listener will find themselves bobbing their head and tapping their toe to the infectious tune. And the pure harmony on "Monsters" is mesmerizing.
The album closer "Didn't Want to Say Goodbye" was written when Hest was asked to perform at a memorial service of a friend's mother who lost her life in the tragedy of 9/11. Hest said he put himself in the place of his mourning friend and "made it a conversation that she might have had in her head that day."
Hest has a magical way with words and is an undiscovered treasure yearning to be heard. His voice bursts with passion, feeling and knowledge. Listeners can almost hear his determination and love for making music in each syllable he croons.
"Music is a provider of a break from life, a way to escape, not only for the artist, but for the crowd as well," said Hest who seems to escape within his music. Each song on the 10-track album sounds as if Hest is pouring out his heart.
"Story After Story" is compromised of slow, touching songs and also fast paced joy rides. "My music is probably best labeled as Alternative Pop, but as many musicians will tell you, one category often isn't enough, and that's true here too. There's some jazz, rock and funk in there too," explains Hest of his versatile music offering.