Ajax Ray O’Vague – Dreaming in Subtitles (Independent)
Anthony J. Resta is the quiet genius. The producer has launched many great albums in the last two decades and has a resume that includes working with bands and musicians like Elton John, Duran Duran, and Collective Soul among others.
After all of these years and all of this experience, it is only natural that he would come out with a solo album. Using the name Ajax Ray O’Vague, Dreaming In Subtitles is a collection of pop songs that mystify the mind and explore dreamlike sequences of floating melodies and lush harmonies. This isn’t a Garbage album gloriously united by a series of producers. Resta knows what he is doing without help. He keeps a purity to the pop structure that built up this society of bobble-headed, dooey-eyed dreamsters.
“Best Days Of Our Lives” demonstrates something simple and relaxing with a cool breeze added as a groove. The hooks are memorable, and Resta nails it. The beauty of it is that it feels so effortless. The falsetto is offset by fuzz guitar which is offset by jangly pop and down the chain.
So that’s just one song. How does he do with the rest? There is a consistency although songs like “Nobody’s Looking” or “Calling All Galaxies” does not fare up to the brilliance of the opener. However there is “Presto Manifesto” which takes things in a different direction, adding electronics to psychedelic murmurs like a day passing you by on the beach. These downtempo sun-drenched tunes really accentuate the foundational elements.
Each listen is different. It bothered me at first because it added to the confusion of truthfully writing about this album. Some songs I instantly loved while other songs became more prevalent on subsequent listens. Dreaming in Subtitles constantly changes based on mood. External factors lay a hand in the success of this album. If your eyes are longing for the Shaun Cassidy or Orange Peels pop days, then get ready for a flashback.