New Yorker Aaron Taos is doing a lot more than just partying to celebrate his birthday. For Taos, a birthday is a day to reflect on the past 365 days of his life and see where he can improve himself. This period of introspection is where his latest album, Birthday Boy, was born. Taos, being born on July 11, delivers this impeccable piece of indie pop in true Cancer style, through intuitive, emotive lyrics and soulful melodies.
Birthday Boy delves into a personal side of Taos that has never been exposed to the public before. On the inspiration behind this deeply intimate album, Taos explained,
"'Birthday Boy' is a semi-concept album about growing older. It’s an album written at a low point in my life during which I was going through quite a bit of self-reflection - mainly surrounding the questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? and Is it truly important? For me, birthdays serve as important milestones for introspection. With this as the thematic foundation of the album, 'Birthday Boy' is a personal exploration through the lens of the expectations we place on ourselves in relation to getting older."
Birthday Boy begins with mellow guitar chords that reflect the relaxed mood for the entire album. The first track, "Birthday Blues," is the common phrase "time flies" brought to life. Repeated throughout the song, Taos' "heart is bleeding from the reminder of wasted time" as he reminisces on the mixed signals sent from both sides of the relationship. Taos' versatility shines when his nostalgic 80's synth-vibe is mixed with Tedy Brewski's classic 90's rap style in the next song, "Denial."
A lively tune which gives us a brief view into Taos' psyche, "Control" discusses the feeling of being powerless over yourself and questions who is really in control. "Communication" is an honest tune about constant transparency in all relationships for success. Taos attributes this mindset to his two therapist parents who encouraged talking about feelings growing up. The stimulating "Dazed and Amused" illustrates the immediate negative physical reactions to being "empty of emotion" through a refreshing melody and Taos' authenticity in his lyrics.
The melancholic ballad, "Where I Belong" featuring Lord Felix, portrays a man who has lost himself and his direction in the craziness of life. "Is It Anything" featuring Khary outlines the constant struggle between success and identity in the entertainment industry. Taos takes a step back in the lighthearted, catchy tune "Take It Easy." Much like its title, Taos decides to "take it easy" since that seems the only way to accomplish anything. "My Girl" is a peaceful, synthy love song that makes us feel some kind of way.
Taos concludes his album with his most personal song to date. "Loneliness" explains that even if the world was falling down around Taos, he would survive because he's "got, you baby." This sweet, simply produced love song wraps up his album perfectly.
Be sure to travel on Taos' road of self discovery in Birthday Boy down below :