Aaron Hendra, for those of you fortunate enough to be unaware, is the husband of Tiffany Hendra, one of The Real Housewives of Dallas. Hendra, we learn in his first appearance on the show, is an Australian musician who followed his wife to Dallas. Or, as Bravo puts it: “When we first saw flashes of Tiffany Hendra’s Aussie rocker husband Aaron on screen, we had to wonder if Keith Urban had a secret life we weren’t aware of!”
I’m not sure how much Hendra or his music figure into the continuing adventures of the Housewives. I have only watched the first episode of the show, and until this morning, I thought calling the Australian musician “The Aaron Hendra Project” in each Housewives recap was solely a running joke, and not Hendra’s actual performing moniker. I did not go see Hendra play at The Rustic on Tuesday, although that gig would seem to indicate he is OK with using his Housewives notoriety to benefit his career. Capitalizing on another recent tragedy, Hendra also took the opportunity to cover “Purple Rain.”
I did, however, make it through The Aaron Hendra Project’s 2014 debut album, Octobersong, on Spotify. While Hendra can’t be held responsible for The Real Housewives of Dallas, this one is on him.
Octobersong is Christian rock without the good excuse — This album was not made out of a sense of religious obligation. There is only one person getting the glory here, and his origins are earthly. (God would have better sense than to name His band “The Aaron Hendra Project.”) You can practically hear Hendra striking a Jesus Christ pose when he sings, “You walk with angels wherever you are,” and his ego, at least, seems to aspire to the grandiose heights reached by U2, another band that wears its Christian influences on its sleeve. It all feels a little unearned. Not even Bono was arrogant enough to direct a documentary about himself before he got famous. Doesn’t the Sermon on the Mount have something to say about the value of humility?
Your neighborhood Christian youth group’s worship service is doing this kind of sterilized rock better than Hendra, and none of them are coated in a glistening layer of Housewives stink. Why would anyone try and sound like this? Maybe it’s fashionable in Australia. Things are different down there. Water drains the wrong way, and there are more snakes than people.
Ultimately, though, music this bland and toothless is too inoffensive to get particularly worked up about. Taste in music, after all, is subjective, and I’m happy for the Hendra Heads out there who know every embarrassing word to “Alive.” I don’t mean to pick on an independent artist doing his best to make it in a cruel, competitive world.