Jay Aymar: Your Perfect Matador
It is a rare pleasure to behold the work of a fully realized artist at his creative peak. Jay Aymar’s Your Perfect Matador is one of those records.
I’ve known Jay and his music for at least a decade, and I have no idea how he quietly climbed to this place; it must have been in the dark. Except, like many of his admirers, I always knew he had the chops to achiev
e such excellence.
What struck me as soon as I pressed play were the musical surprises. While the odometers on his cars and body have amply earned him the right to whisper and gently rap some of his lead vocals, they cocked my head at first. I was waiting for a mistake, for pretension to kick in, but it never did; this is the real Jay Aymar, bare-souled and beautiful.
The mature electric guitar sound he apparently cherishes stands out like it is designed to do, but like all the other instruments on Your Perfect Matador, it is played in humble service to the record. (And the strings! Wow.)
His website tells us this is a love story with a beginning, middle and end, and that it took five years for him to make his masterpiece.
Lyrically, as always, I feel unqualified to comment, other than that each phrase feels like it had to
perform for the right to be included, and that the cutting room floor must have been a bonfire.
Finally, there is Jay’s uncanny duet ability. He has sung with many talented female vocalists in years and records gone by, but the work he does with Shakura S’Aida and Chloe Charles is fabulous.
However, it is the centre of the arc of the record, the fifth track of nine, “Alive in the Shadows,” sung with Alejandra Ribera, that serves as the climax of the piece. It is the most sublime six minutes of recorded Canadian music I’ve heard this year.
This review is longer than the record itself, which is something I also appreciate about Your Perfect Matador. Everything appears to have been expertly measured and finely executed. Olé, Jay!