Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
With the release of his debut full-length, Haligonian Rich Aucoin proved that he's more than a karaoke party starter. We're All Dying to Live built on the promise of his previous EPs and the ever-evolving live show that wins him new fans wherever he goes. The second in a planned trilogy on love, life and loss, the album challenges listeners to not only dream, but to act on those dreams. Far from maudlin advice, Aucoin crams all the intricacies of life into the album's dance-floor shaking baroque pop; the short walk from "Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.," which finds the album's complacent protagonist deciding to make a stand, to "PUSH," which sees him following through on that decision, covers a lot of emotional ground. More than 500 Canadian musicians bought into Aucoin's message and he thanked them by populating the record with their contributions, expanding the original seven songs to a staggering 22 tracks to accommodate everyone, without losing his own voice in the process. Beautifully packaged with a fold out Brady Bunch-esque photo display of all the contributors and a cover incorporating lyrical elements from throughout the record, We're All Dying to Live is a triumph for Aucoin, whose ambition seemingly knows no bounds, and for listeners who can't help but be swept into his world.
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