Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
To embrace the words of a different culture is to allow yourself to feel human and not wallow in the same rut, the same catastrophic spell that stagnates and festers till there is nothing but boredom and mischief in the heart. To embrace a different side to the story, does not mean you have abandoned your own tale but it is the hope that every so often something from another point of view will create even more understanding in your heart.
In embracing for a while AJ & The Collectives the listener is transported not so much to altered universe but a short hop, the tangible walk to a different estate, the grass grows in just the same way, the problems and the victories are equally as celebrated from your own field of view. However, it is the feel of a diverse honesty, another’s vision in which the rose red spectacles are removed, perhaps even smashed, that makes Split Personalities an album of imagery and tantalising lyrics.
Regardless of any initial thoughts to the genre, to dismiss, as many are apt to do right across the wide range of music and art possible, a specific genre out of hand completely is only to deprive yourself from even a small amount of enlightenment and empathy for another’s plight and successes.
In tracks such as My Life To You, Poison, Limits Unbreakable and the album title track Split Personalities, the band have put together something direct and malleable, personal and permanent, a mark down for where they are in their estate at this particular time and it is one that is filled with possibilities and shadows; lurking shadows that can bite the unwary, can drag down the unprepared but in a group used to living with the rose tinted frames, this is just a piece of honest and unshakeable music poetry.
Split Personalities is a diamond in the very rough, one not wanting to be polished and shaped beyond its instinctive state, for who would want to rub away the natural aura from such a native way of thinking.
Ian D. Hall