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31 December 2009 @ 07:50 am
Song of the Week #70: Angie Aparo "Wonderland" (live)  
As I’m putting the final touches on my Favorite CDs of the Decade list I’m having a blast going back and reviewing some albums – what a trip down memory lane.

It was early 2000, January I believe and I picked two promo discs in cardboard sleeves out of a bin of discarded or unloved promos (think the land of misfit toys for CDs), one because of the semi-cool cover art and the other for a reason I’m still unclear of. The cover art was not attractive and had nothing that would have piqued my curiosity at the time, so I think it was a mistake when I picked up the other disc. But the following day I spun both. The one with a cool guitar on the front was ok, it was by Sister 7, the other one with the dark and dismal front cover, was Angie Aparo’s The American CD.

That CD I kept listening to for the remainder of the week. There was something about it that I couldn’t put a finger on, but I needed to keep listening. There wasn’t another CD released that year that even came close to The American for me in 2000 (since that time there is an album that I would take on a island over Angie, but only one). Angie blew my mind that year and the subsequent year when I saw him a couple of times in very intimate settings.

You’ve most likely never heard of Angie and apart from this email you might never again. He originally wrote and recorded “Cry” which Faith Hill took to #1 and won a Grammy with. If you liked Faith’s version, or if you didn’t, check out Angie’s – you’ve heard this a million times from me and this is exactly what I’m referring to when I talk about the “rip your heart out of your chest, put it on a stool and stick a microphone in front of it.” Faith’s version doesn’t match the intensity of Angie’s (but to her defense, she already took a beating on this song and that album as being too dark, if she had done it as Angie did she would have turned her whole audience away). Angie’s is biting without being bitter, but powerful and demanding.


I thought this was an amazing song before I became a parent, but is resonates so much more now. Written for Angie’s independent release in 1997, it was re-recorded for his 2000 major label debut on Arista. It’s a darker twist on your typical father’s ode to his daughter, but at the same time the darkness of the verses, “Every tear you cry, is a tear that I will bleed”, are given hope and determination that every parent feels to protect and guard their child in the choruses. Angie’s vocal range is second to none and he bares it all on this sparse acoustic and vocal track. It’s gut wrenching, and that’s what I love about Angie.

Take a piece of the sky
Make it rain cherry wine
Give her love
Give her life
Give her mine

She's a child
Young and willing
In a world that's unforgiving
That in time
Takes all the living from your soul

I stand in the night with a silver sword
Killing her demons beating them off her door
Sleep baby don't you cry
Daddy's got a worn out lullaby
And I'd live forever dark and damned
To see you spend one minute, girl... in Wonderland

She can run
Free forever
Still our blood... blood runs us together
And I'll be there
If she runs home
For worse or better

I know you like Adam knew Eve
Every tear you cry is a tear that I will bleed
Sleep baby don't you cry
Daddy's got a worn out lullaby
And I'd live forever dark and damned
To see you spend one minute, girl... in Wonderland

And I'd live forever dark and damned
If I could see you spend one minute baby... in Wonderland

He won over Clive with an in-office performance and recorded the album with Matchbox 20 producer Matt Serletic. Sadly, the SonyBMG merger, Clive’s upheaval and Matt’s reassignment spelled disaster for a lot of acts including Angie.

More Angie Aparo:
Cry (live with Faith)
Spaceship (live)