Publicity for April describes this 40-minute CD as Jon Crosby's "acoustic project," which is misleading because April does, in fact, use some electric instruments. But while April doesn't sound truly "unplugged" or truly acoustic-oriented, it is accurate to say that April contains some of the most rootsy and organic-sounding production that VAST has had so far; April sounds electric, but not electronic or high-tech -- and that is a definite departure from some of the industrial and electro-goth production that VAST has favored in the past. The more organic production on April seems to be Crosby's way of saying that, at the end of the day, VAST was always about songcraft more than production gloss or electro-beats. Of course, one could say the same thing about Nine Inch Nails, one of Crosby's main influences; Johnny Cash's willingness to cover Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" speaks volumes about Trent Reznor's songwriting ability, and Crosby doesn't value the art of songcraft any less than Reznor. Drawing on influences ranging from Nine Inch Nails to U2 to Sisters of Mercy, April contains some of Crosby's strongest writing. The Bono-isms on April are hard to miss, but while U2 is ultimately a hopeful, idealistic band (despite dealing with some dark subject matter at times), April is full of brooding, melancholy songs; the fact that Crosby favors a different production style on April doesn't mean that he has let go of goth rock's gloomy influence. And why should he? There is no law stating that music has to be cheerful to have artistic merit. In the past, some of VAST's albums have been described as uneven, but being consistent is not a problem for Crosby on the well-crafted April.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson