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Arrivals and Departures, the new record from singer-songwriter, rocker-folker, coffee drinker, hookah smokah, and dog walker Phil Ayoub is finally cleared for landing in April 2010!
The record’s 13 songs were written in terminals, coach seats, security offices, food court Sbarros, on runways, baggage claim belts, during strip searches, random bag checks, and $10 for 10 minute massages in airports and airplanes all over the world. As well as in the kitchen of his parents’ house. Appropriately, recording sessions for the album were split between Massachusetts and Stoke-On-Trent in the U.K.
Arrivals and Departures finds Ayoub reuniting with Tim Bradshaw, who produced his solo debut Schoolbus Window Paper Heart. Bradshaw, formerly with John Mayer and David Gray, is a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist and an inventive producer, and helped turn Ayoub’s mumbled song ideas on cassette tapes (yes, Phil still uses tapes) into this record. It also features drumming from the ever cool Kevin Figueiredo from the band Extreme. Perhaps the most astonishing accomplishment of the sessions, though, might be the fact that Phil got the born and bred Brit Tim to voluntarily drink and enjoy Miller Lite Beer (Official Beer of the Ayoub Men).
Ayoub likes to say he’s from “Boston, RI,” as he considers both the city in Massachusetts where he got his musical birth, as well as Rhode Island, where he grew up, home.
Having been delayed on the runway for slightly longer than expected, Arrivals and Departures is the follow up to Schoolbus Window Paper Heart, which had Ayoub performing in venues from the Viper Room in LA to Fenway Park in Boston, and featured songs on such notable and respected stations as WBOS Boston, WXPN Philadelphia, WBCN Boston, WDHA New Jersey, WHJY Providence, WXRV The River Boston, WMVY Martha’s Vineyard, KEXP Seattle, XM Satellite Radio’s XM Café and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Here’s a small sampling of what critics had to say about Schoolbus Window Paper Heart:
"Phil Ayoub has an MBA degree. He also has some kind of ear for commercial pop-rock melodies and intelligent lyrics. Ayoub's first solo release, 'Schoolbus Window Paper Heart,' is filled with radio-friendly grooves and themes that range from the 9-11 nightmare to carefree romance…."
"He has a fan club and an MBA, which might not make all that much sense. But if you listen to Phil Ayoub, you can hear the two opposing qualities in his music: It’s keen and endearing, witty as well as likable…Ayoub writes empathically, with sensitivity and intelligence….he must be doing something right."
“His influences are classic, and he lives up to them…The result is a radio-ready sound for radio-ready songs.”
"Ayoub's lyrics are heartfelt and meaningful…memorable melodies and acoustic pop hooks…an amazing album. Ayoub's brand of "grad-school rock" is comparable to Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Tom Petty."
"...He wears his heart on his sleeve and his songs are as truthful and honest as they come...clever lyrics, solid musicianship... from the cocky barroom wisdom of Bono, the social commentary and good ole rock 'n' roll punch of Bruce Springsteen and the wordsmith master, Bob Dylan.. a definite keeper."
"...filled with poignant songwriting..."