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Single Review: Elsewhere – “Life…is a Fraction VI. Realization”

If there’s one man who still knows how to keep things interesting with his work in the music industry, it’s Michael Aroian and his new music with Elsewhere is all the evidence I need to verify this. In the single “Life…is a Fraction VI. Realization” from the record Life…is a Fraction, Aroian doesn’t rely on the same techniques that launched so many of the records that influenced him to get us excited about the sweeping melodic strength here; he immediately steps outside of his comfort zone compositionally and executes something familiar yet entirely different from anything he’s done before.

Everything here starts and ends with the synth play forming the basis for the harmonies in “Life…is a Fraction VI. Realization,” and I think it’s necessary to understand that without their presence, this would be a completely different song in every department. There’s so much color coming out of the tonality the riff offers to the pillars of what makes this single such an alluringly melodic piece to begin with, and even if they had been replaced with something straightforward like an acoustic guitar or a piano, that would be too much for the fragility of the lyrical content here to withstand. Details account for the charm of this release, and you don’t have to be a world-class music nerd to know that.

The rhythm of the music in “Life…is a Fraction VI. Realization” isn’t defined by the percussive element in the mix alone, but instead by how all of the instruments are made to interact together. This kind of amplified collective force can prove problematic in cluttered numbers, but in the case of something as carefully crafted as this song is, it only serves to make Aroian’s singing, verses, and instrumental backdrop more unforgettable in this setting.



This arrangement is deceptively complicated and beefed up to sound a lot more fanciful than it is, but if you’re listening closely enough, you’ll be able to pick up on the minor simplicities in the tempo and tone of the play here that make “Life…is a Fraction VI. Realization” a remarkably black-and-white track to analyze. There’s never been a legend who thought over-stylizing a proven formula was a good idea, and in this area, Aroian is doing a fine job of keeping with the tradition of the icons in pop to have come before his campaign.

Aroian and the Elsewhere name weren’t on my radar up until the release of their debut album, which has quickly become one of my favorite LPs in a year of music undeniably thirsty for some real rock energy, but seeing as “Life…is a Fraction VI. Realization” and its parent record in Life…is a Fraction are evolutionary releases in their totality, I’m planning on sticking with the act for the foreseeable future just to hear what comes next. “Life…is a Fraction VI. Realization” doesn’t play by the rules, and yet it’s somehow one of the more conventionally attractive rock songs I’ve heard since the last time I picked up a solid progressive rock disc for review.


Joshua Corbin




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