“In a lot of ways, I think this album reflects the city I live in.” Says Phoenix-area artist Alden Powers about his debut CD 1,000 is Never Enough. “Phoenix is a melting pot. People come to this city from all over the world. You have all these different people with different ideas and cultures converging on one place. You’re not really sure what the outcome will be, but somehow it all comes together.” Those sentiments can be summed up on 1,000 with the variety of styles of music one hears. Alden uses funky beats, hard driving rock, mellow folk textures and even some hip-hop tinged lyrical styling to tell his stories. “On this record, I let a wide range of influences dictate the sounds that you hear. Each song is very unique; no 2 songs are alike. I think of each song as an individual, and they all come together to form something bigger than themselves. We’re not sure what it is, but it’s something. Phoenix is a city that is still finding its identity. I feel like I’m still finding my voice as an artist. This record helped me realize what that voice is becoming, and what my city is becoming.”
Listening to this CD takes you on a journey through a person’s life, the highs and lows, and the good and bad. “This album was therapy for me. I had to spend some time by myself and work out some issues. That’s basically what the recording is about. It’s very personal.”
With an album as eclectic 1,000 is Never Enough, it may be difficult to categorize Alden as an artist, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. “One of the things I don’t like about music today is this element of sameness. If you turn on a radio station, all the songs sound the same. The same artist may as well have written them. With a lot of bands these days, if you hear one of their songs, you’ve heard them all. I’m trying to get away from that with my music. I want to keep the listener guessing. Each song is a surprise. You never know what’s going to happen next. With every song I have a different story to tell, so I used different sounds and styles to tell those stories. If you like adventure, then listen to my CD.”
Lyrically, Alden’s writing speaks from the heart, often using quirky wordplay that can leave the listener scratching their heads smiling. “I like my words to paint a picture for the listener. Sometimes I tell a story; sometimes I use wild descriptions to put an image in their heads. To me, each and every line of the song is critical. When you write a song, you only have a very short amount of time (usually 3 or 4 minutes) to say what you want to say. So you had better make it count. Most of my songs come from real life experiences. That’s where my ‘music as therapy’ idea comes from. Usually I’m at my most creative during times of personal crisis. When things aren’t going well for me, I grab my notebook and my guitar and get to work. That’s not to say that all my songs are sad. A lot of times I write happy songs when I’m feeling bad in order to feel better. I guess it’s that feeling of strife that gets the creative juices going.”
Alden’s record is packed with plenty of tasty morsels of guitar goodness. Everything from warm acoustic timbres, blistering electric leads, silky smooth jazz lines and off-the-wall modulated mayhem are heard. Alden handled all of the guitar duties on 1,000. Sometimes piecing all those parts together can be tricky. “When it’s only you in the studio, you have to do a lot in order to give the tracks their own identity. I think of the rhythm and lead guitars as two distinct musical personalities. As for rhythm guitar, I consider it to be just as important as the bass and drums to the overall groove. A good rhythm guitar should carry the rhythm section. Lead guitar is like the color commentator at a sports game. He should be quick, witty, interesting, and always bring the party. The lead guitar should always keep you guessing and make you come back wanting more. The guitar solos should be a story within the story of the song. A little side story that’s adds to the overall plot.”
Alden’s debut CD is packed with insightful songwriting and plenty of tasty guitar work. It’s guaranteed to impress, satisfy and keep you guessing until the very end. Pick up your copy today!