Cantinero – Better For The Metaphor (CD)

“Better For The Metaphor” begins with “My House”, a track that will immediately remind listeners of a young Elvis Costello. The bouncy, memorable arrangements that are present during this track could easily have been on “This Year’s Model”, and this opening track thus offers a perfect way into the rest of “Better For The Metaphor”. “Go Getter” has a much more sultry, slinky sound that links together INXS and Lenny Kravitz into something that is catchy while still having some intellectual foundation. The varied sound that each of the tracks on “Better For The Metaphor” showcase Cantinero as a diamond in the rough of the independent rock and pop scene. Each of the eleven cuts on “Better For The Metaphor” cold conceivably be singles, and “Safe” is another example of this.

The slower tempo present here may not typically be the listeners’ cup of tea, but Cantinero’s style here will draw listeners in, bringing his own style to hints of the Beatles, Blur, and Rufus Wainwright. “Goodbye Life” starts with enormous pomp before moving into a fifties, sing-song approach that matches Hicken’s vocals with a second, female set that blends in the perfect nature of songs from the aforementioned era with instrumentation that at times incorporates a current outlook. This shifting style, between the current period and the fifties, is not anything that is a major focus during the track but speaks volumes to the care that was taken into the creation of “Better For The Metaphor”. “Selfish” continues on the same impressive path that tracks like “My House” and “Go Getter” forged at the beginning of “Better For The Metaphor”, while having its own unique flavors and approaches that are not replicated anywhere else on this disc.

The strong strumming of the acoustic guitar that opens up “Selfish” gives listeners some sense that Hicken is coming forth in a fundamentally different path than he has taken before. Little more is needed during “Selfish” than a set of vocals and the guitar, and a track forms that would easily compare to the work of a Chris Cornell or a Jason Mraz, albeit with a little better set of instrumentation than those typically used in those two’s works. Without a weak track to be had during “Better For The Metaphor”, fans of music – any genre or style of it – should purchase a copy of the album, and attempt to see Cantinero whenever Hicken and the rest of the act goes touring in support of the release. Simply fantastic.

Top Tracks: Medicated, Long Way Home

Rating: 8.1/10

Cantinero – Better For The Metaphor / 2008 Tinkle Tone / 11 Tracks / /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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