Sound — 10
I was first introduced to Aynsley Lister about a year ago. I listened to a few tracks, liked what I heard, but didn't get round to buying any CDs. Also, in the last twelve months, I've got into Ian Parker. I bought a few of his CDs and saw him play live and he was very impressive. I also bought a live DVD of him playing with Aynsley Lister and Erja Lyytinen called "Blues Caravan". I was so amazed by Aynsley's voice and guitar playing that I just had to buy some of his stuff. So, I bought his 2001 album, "Everything I Need" and his newest album (released this year) "Upside Down". Right from the word go I fell in love with his music. Every track on the album is immense in every way imaginable. There's a nice mix of Stratocaster sounds, Les Paul sounds and two acoustic songs. You get the feeling that you're listening to a British blues guy who's trying to get blues to be more mainstream; he's got a fantastic modern voice and plays blues riffs and also adds a sense of 'modernness' to it. The solos are all fantastic, too. He uses some great runs and licks to piece together amazing blues/rock solos.
Lyrics — 10
As I've said already, Aynsley has an incredible voice. Since I bought this album, I also bought "Supakev n' Pilchards" and "All or Nothing" when I went to see him live, and you somehow get the feeling that his voice has matured just a little bit more on this album than "All Or Nothing" and "Everything I Need" (although his voice is still immense on those albums too). When you listen to this album, you get a sense of his singing to be wonderfully effortless and laid back. Aynsley has to be one of my favourite male vocalists around today, if not my absolute favourite. It also seems to fit in with the music perfectly. Not only is his voice really strong, but he also writes some fantastic lyrics. A lot of the music is blues, with modern lyrics. It's a nice mix and goes together well.
Overall Impression — 10
It's really hard to say whether this is my favourite album of Aynsley Lister's or not. I've listened to the four that I have so many times that I love all of them. The most impressive songs on the album are probably "Getaway", which starts with a fantastic low-distortion Strat-riff, then kicks off with the drums to 'rock-it-up-a-bit'; "Beautiful (Keiana's Song)" is an actually beautiful acoustic song that Aynsley wrote for his daughter; "With Me Tonight" has a great descending Strat-riff and some really catchy drum beats; "Upside Down" has more great drum beats and great vocals, it's a short song and has a brilliant riff with an odd/quirky bit in one verse when he sounds like his strumming random chords, but you get to like it after a while; "Disorderly Me" is one of my utmost favourites, and it has the most awesome blues riff with fantastic vocals; and "Falling Down" is probably my absolute favourite, because the first time I heard the descending riff through the verses and the awesome solos I instantly wanted to learn to play it (but I still have been able to). I love everything about this album, and hate nothing. If it were lost, I would be exceedingly annoyed because I got him to autograph my copy (and all his other CDs), but I would definitely buy it again and get him to autograph it again when I next see him live! And on a final note, if you see him coming to play near to you, don't pass on the opportunity to see him play. I paid 60 to see Eric Clapton play at the NEC arena in May 2005 and that was amazing, but I paid six quid to see Aynsley and he was actually better than Clapton. He's a truly incredible musician, and if you like blues and are looking for something with a slight difference, buy his CDs.