Hello is a vibrant, colorful, eclectic blend of rock and R&B with a layered and intricate production sensibility. Art has put together easily his strongest effort to date that shows his songwriting at its most meaningfully intense. He is as vulnerable as ever, served with a freshness and innovative flavor that takes the beguiling and introspective bent of his prior efforts to a whole new level. His composition chops have never felt as fresh, inventive, and full of life and energy. Art has always had a beautiful and lyrical melodic and chordal sensibility, and in some ways this album is more of a realization of the full potential of the incredible songwriting talent that Art has always possessed. This is Art “pulling out the stops” (that’s organ humor for Art) and really getting down to meticulous instrumentation and filigree on a microscopic level and shining in a way that we’ve never been privileged to see before. The song “Hello” is by far the strongest tune on this effort. The lyrical imagery feed right into the songs reverie that is almost intoxicated with the idea of human contact of any kind, almost as if Art has just escaped from solitary confinement. The strings and piano accompaniment in there many forms throughout this very structural and multifaceted song build and ebb in a masterful and elegant way that leads the listener and the artist through vista after meticulously crafted vista. This particular song seems to show the limitless creative energy of an artist in the very prime of his creative life. I could listen to this song over and over and not get sick of it. Another Highlight is “Her Name” which is a beautiful ballad accompanied by the brilliant San Francisco trumpetist Darren Johnston whose effortless gossamer tone shimmers above this elegiac and soulful tune. “Don’t Get Up” is a clever break-up song with a hook (or maybe a barb)or two embedded in its intricate structure: catchy, subtle, and sad. The pipe organ solo in the middle of “Even if” is surprising and unique and ushers in a brilliant series of seqways leading off into the mist. It’s wonderful hearing Art outdo himself on almost every front: songwriting, orchestration, lyrically, production-wise, and even Arts enviable vocal range is used with a deliberate focus we’ve not heard before... and by the albums liner notes this is only hello... "