Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tommy Guerrero - Life Boats and Follies (Galaxia)





Real skateboards co-founder makes a real delicious instrumental record. It’s been a while since I last heard a great voiceless album, so this came as a pleasant surprise. It is always tricky to keep people interested in tunes without singing; a lot of people seem to need to connect to music through its sentiment or vocal hook. Perhaps singing along helps people feel like they can be involved, perhaps trying to understand the emotional conceit behind the music gives a more immersive experience, either way Guerro bypasses these concerns with instrumental layers that maintain interest throughout each track.

The influences vary widely from country to bossa-nova, and each influence is hinted to tastefully. There are clear comparisons to David Axelrod, Quincy Jones and Ennio Moricone to be made along with more subtle references to artists such as Johnny Harris and Sandy Nelson particularly in the reoccurring styles of guitars and percussion respectively. In tandem with these retro influences the production is kitsch but always clear. Perhaps this comes along a little early for most of America and the UK. I would imagine that more people will be digging this record when the sun has got his hat on. Get your summer started early with this record, a pair of headphones and your calor gas heater on full blast.

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