Since their beginning, Aer has garnered a growing fan base amongst college students over the past few years using their signature reggae/pop/hip-hop sound. With their debut album, The Bright Side, the duo of Carter Schultz and David Von Mering hope to bring their raw, natural sounding melodies to even more young ears across the country.
Their music appears to be rooted as a collision between Shwayze’s reggae-pumped flow and Jack Johnson’s upbeat, yet mellowed relaxants.
Whether it be that relaxed island current behind “Floats My Boat” or the guitar-driven instrumentation on “Songbird,” it sounds like Aer has settled in to a somewhat more progressive modern pop corner of the market— not a great idea in my opinion. The songs are catchy though.
The remastered version of “Medina” is something of a safe haven for longtime fans of the group who favor a greater down-tempo sound from the group. This simplicity is something that Schultz and Von Mering should strive for more often and, like I said earlier, brought them their initial fan base. The Bright Side incorporates fast rapping and even faster beats that will surely irk many followers for some time.
The first half of the album isn’t a total catastrophe, but midway through, listeners will happen upon “(If You Want) Trees” and “Kush In My Pockets,” tracks that won’t do them any favors as they step into the iTunes spotlight. This low-spirited collegiate frat fodder has been attempted before and has never panned out for anyone. It’s too cliché at this point.
It would be tough for me to even ballpark the number of bands doing the same exact thing as Aer. I’ll concede that the group has a knack for melodies, but they lack the vocal range and originality to be anything more than university-paid performers chosen by a student organization with little knowledge of other bands/rappers that blow Aer out of the water.
Their success on the overall album chart on iTunes is due to an effect known as there-are-not-really-any-other-good-albums-so-I-will-check-out-this-one effect. Okay, so that’s not an official thing, but you get my point.
With that, there is no denying that their smooth and hazy singing style will amass newer fans who are looking for easy-listening tracks to fill up a summer playlist as well. You won’t find me on that short list, however. When it comes down to it, I’m hard-pressed to find a solid basis for believing in Aer’s overall message and a little indifferent to them altogether.