Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties
We Don't Have Each other
Key Tracks: "Our Apartment," "Get Me Out Of Here Alive," "Carolina Coast"
I honestly thought I could not be blown away by Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell again. His closing statement on ‘I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral’, “We all want to be great men but there’s nothing romantic about it, I just want to know that I did all I could with what I was given,” was the highlight of The Greatest Generation for me. That lyrical line closed The Wonder Years trilogy about growing up. Mr. Campbell has been busy however, and has come to us with more angst and despair through the story of Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties.
The narrative of We Don’t Have Each Other is the telltale end of a relationship. Many people have been through the terrifying stages of ending the dynamic of being with someone, and sometimes the emotions never leave. Channeling these sentiments combined with the minute detail in Soupy’s lyrics drive this entire album, no, drive anything Soupy has done in the music world. ‘Our Apartment’ kicks off by painting a picture of a man succumbing to depression and anger, eventually leading him to the point of “I broke my cell phone, because it won’t fucking tell me when you’re coming home.” The urgent and desperate voice of Dan Campbell has been the rallying call for plenty of people, and even without distortion he doesn’t become too overbearing.
Soupy’s ability to create a caricature of a dark, twisted man is almost too real. He embarks this everyday man with actual crises, but welds them with staunch lyrics, like the entirety of ‘Divorce And The American South,’ with lyrics like, “And hey Diane, I know I fucked up, it’s just when we lost the baby I kind of shut off, and I know I never listened, I wasn’t there for you enough.” Maybe the character did not need to become the town drunk and force himself into this grim story, but that is the path of tragedy, and it’s easy to romanticize in this particular way. Regardless of the path and story, the concept takes on real crises that happen to people every day, and Soupy brings these images to life.
Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties is not an acoustic The Wonder Years. This project is an entirely different emotional animal. Blunt and descriptive lyrics bring a plethora of feelings for listeners. The music is not just Soupy and an acoustic guitar, but at times features lavish melodies spiraling in the background (or sliding on a pedal steel). The drums are soft but give another distraction to keep it all flowing together. We Don’t Have Each Other is the next chapter of music that fans can grow up with, albeit at a more mature level.