Top 10 of the year: Ari Hest – “Someone to Tell”


So my history with Ari Hest is kind of strange. Way back in what must have been 2001, my friend Erica was playing this CD at her desk of this son of a friend of her fathers named Ari. It sounded good and so I asked for a copy, but it got lost in the shuffle. Fast-forward a few years, I’m hangin around the A&R department of Columbia (26), and Ari’s doing a soundcheck, and had apparently been signed to RED INK (our indie distributor). So I sit in for it with my bud Jared and get hooked. Before you know it, I’m going to see him for the second time at Irving Plaza. He puts on a great show and I’m wandering around afterward looking to see if theres anyone from work there and lo and behold who do I see but Erica. Small world moments abound, and is just another reason why I’m still not sick of this record.

“Someone to Tell” is a mishmash of re-recordings of songs from several of Ari’s previous records, and having heard some of the original versions, I’d say these have more of a sheen to them consistant with his hooky acoustic pop (yes, I’m not too much of a snob to use the p-word. It’s filled with hooks that the Mayer / Mraz / Yorn’s of the world wish they could come up with, delivered with a full rich baritone (I’m not sure thats right…deep but not Barry White deep). I’ll spare you the track-by-track recap, except to say “They’re On To Me” will be in your head for weeks after hearing it, and “Someone To Tell” reaffirms my statment that songs in 6/8 are just naturally better and ends with one of those three part harmony moments that could just go on forever and stay sweet. And the songs in between, they ain’t so bad either.

You can hear pretty much the whole album at

This record is a permanent fixture on my iPod and iTunes at work and at home, and I dont see that changing anytime soon.