Chances are, even if you've never heard of Aaron Sprinkle, you're probably a big fan of his. Sure you might not have listened to Poor Old Lu, or Sprinkle's solo records, but have you listened to Emery? Acceptance? Mxpx? How about Anberlin? If the answer is yes, then you've been enjoying Sprinkle's work for years. Fair is only the most recent invention of this producer/musician/mixer/engineer in a long line of successful projects. From the moment the record starts, you can sense that the music you are about to hear is from someone who really knows what they are doing. It's no secret either that Fair's real selling point is "Aaron Sprinkle and a few other guys," as opposed to just a new band. But this isn't a bad thing since Sprinkle is good at what he does.
The first song, "Monday," does a nice job setting the mood for the record, entitled The Best-Worst Case Scenario. Although it's not an overly upbeat tune, it's definitely one that gives you a hint of what the rest of the album has in store. Like most of the songs on the album, "Monday" is catchy, simple, and melodic. This is a good thing, and while some of the songs seem to sound the same, they kind of run together to create one epic song, as opposed to many different ones. As the case with this album, this effect works beautifully to create a finished product that can only be listened to all the way through to be fully appreciated.
When you listen to Best-Worst Case Scenario, don't expect the most spiritual record of the year. With that said, most of the songs appear to deal with relationships or refer to God in only vague terms, while a few others leave Fair's faith out in the open, such as the third track, "Carelessness." The chorus calls out asking, "will the one who came to throw it all away, ever get to see the end of this?," wondering whether an endless pattern of sin will finally stop, as the singer looks towards the future. Other standout tracks include "The Attic," "Bide My Crime," and "Cut Down Sideways."
For Sprinkle's first effort since 2003's Lackluster (as a solo project under his name), Fair's The Best-Worst Case Scenario is really impressive. This is not an album that is really innovative, but is just a solid album. If the eleven songs on Best-Worst Case Scenario represent the best Christian rock has to offer, and they could, then it shouldn't be hard for this album to catch on. And it should.- Review date: 8/4/06, written by Flip Choquette
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