Album Review: The Blue Eyed Shark Experiment – Aun Aprendo (I’m Still Learning)

“It’s the sound of a generation so fucked up, can’t you see?” says the Blue Eyed Shark Experiment in the song “Generation”. I hope for the love of God he means this generation, mainly because he’s right. He, of the Blue Eyed Shark Experiment, is BES (not his real name), an Irish songwriter with his unique and meaningful piano and his honest depth behind his songwriting, which is inspired by both crossroad-like life events and the dark paintings of Goya. Overall, this is a combination that produces a rather black, yet beautiful image. The songs almost feel, for lack of a better word, velvety (Yes, like a seat).

On the band’s latest (and brief) EP, Aun Aprendo (I’m Still Learning), the Blue Eyed Shark Experiment kick it off with the aforementioned song “Generation” (a video accompanies the song on their MySpace). “You want to destroy yourself/Go ahead/that’s fine/But don’t destroy me,” BES says after the main chorus line. Despite the fact that the generation that’s hearing this song is on the verge of spontaneous human combustion, the Shark doesn’t seem all that worried about it. It’s true that the outside world is going berserk, but this song makes one think solitude could certainly has its benefits, no matter how dark and isolating it sounds.

The next song is “Sleep to Me”, with piano chords that don’t necessarily paint images as much as they create black and white stills in any listener’s head. While the chords play out over lulling vocals, one must imagine the person the narrator wants sleeping next to him will most likely please him for all eternity. He discusses warm summer breezes and fond nostalgic memories that this song could even provoke within the listener, despite the fact the lyrics indeed sound very personal. To connect with any consumer while conveying a personal message is a very powerful ability.

“Goodbye Little Friend” kicks off with some programmed drums (I must mention there is a producer/drummer named Matt, who is the portion of the band, the Experiment). Clearly, this is a song about farewells rather than completion like the previous track. For all one knows, it could be about this same girl who he wanted sleeping next to him. This is how the world works, though, which is apparent when he says, “Good times left in the past/Love that I thought would last.” This is certainly the truth. And finally there is “Rain”, a track that is just as down as it sounds. “My luck had run dry/Nowhere to go,” he croons in the verse, but the chorus, despite the fact of its depressing title, sounds ever so cheery. “Rain, rain down on me!” he cries out and for the next verse, the piano gets livelier and even incorporates a synth riff! People often say if you walk through the darkness long enough, there is a light. The finale on this EP certainly appears to be that light.

The Blue Eyed Shark Experiment seems to making the right assumptions about the coming generation who will inherit the Earth in the next 20 years. We’re fucked up, we are desperately searching for human compatibility, we have no idea what’s next, and for all we know, what’s next could be some damn rain. This is raw and sincere songwriting here, and the fact that it comes off with a minimalist approach in a time where so many things are overproduced to the point of soiling oneself is ultimately refreshing. All this shark needs to do is keep swimming and most likely, the experiment will work out alright.


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