CD, Shinto Records, 2009
“Human” is the second full length release from American industrial artist Aaron Russell. In an era of overblown image, hype, pretension, fashion, and vanity, this album is a timely reminder of what we are, and what we can be. In a word: naked. Part rage, part love, beauty, despair, and hope, “Human” embraces and celebrates the totality of emotion. From harder beginnings (Human, Godmobile ), to softer reflections (Beautiful Memory, Fragile), Russell has been able to forgo the standard ambition of one club hit after another to successfully capture the dynamics of who we are. By the album’s end (Starlight, Bloody Whore), melodies and balance are the clearest developed. Mood darkens, lightens. The road is rocky but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
As a newer artist, there are some technical limitations clearly evident on this album. The complexity and depth of reverbs and delays on most tracks have handicapped several of them with a muffled quality that lags behind the compositional genius. Drums are similarly unable to maintain their urgency, and one can’t help feeling that ‘raspy distorted vocals’ is a crutch – surely born of under confidence – holding back what are actually great lyrics and a good voice. These qualifications do not dampen my enthusiasm for this album or Impurfekt’s future. Listening to it one feels the raw excitement of a great idea under development whose genius stands out clearly despite the scientists and workmen still milling about attempting to identify and resolve few remaining kinks.
For being written entirely ‘in the box’ on Logic and mixed on headphones, I’ll take this over the latest sampler from Metropolis any day. With luck the point Russell is trying to make will catch on, and sincerity might still have a future left in this genre.
— Christian Wright