Adolfo Lazo – On Tape (CD)

“Rey de Espana” has a throaty, bass introduction to “On Tape” that showcases the ability of Raza to create a dense track that will open up to reveal something new each time that listeners place “On Tape” in their players. The driven, bouncy beat of “Leti” meshes well with the long, strung-out approach given the track by the guitars. With the vocals adding the final piece to the puzzle, what results during “Leti” is a track that will forever stand as one of Lazo’s best. “Morgan” has a deliberate, grave approach that further highlights the Elvis Costello-influenced vocals of Lazo.

The dark/light dichotomy of the instrumentation and the vocals here make for a striking track, and gives listeners the momentum they need to continue with “On Tape”. This is great, since “Two Minute Love” is simply stellar: the inclusion of a more spontaneous, jazz-infused style to “On Tape” introduces a random element to the disc that virtually ensures that listeners will not know what is to come from Lazo. Thus, when a track like “Cual es tu Carrera” begins, listeners have to pay attention. “Cual es tu Carrera” is a Latin-fueled track that touches upon as much Tito Puente as it does Santana, all while Lazo gives the song his own special touch.

The spirit and soul that Lazo places into “On Tape” does not diminish in the slightest with the disc’s later tracks: where a number of bands seem to sputter out in their later cuts, Lazo ends “On Tape” with a bang, as both “Borracho” and “Time To Go” represent two of the disc’s best tracks. This is due to the fact that “Borracho” is one of the few tracks that allows Lazo’s vocals to shine as brightly as the instrumentation that is present. While I have little in the way of an idea to what Lazo is saying, each world is pronounced with such soul that I am emotionally affected. The album ends with the appropriately-named “Time To Go”, which brings a live component that should light a fire under any listener to find out when Lazo is playing live and attend. The overall sound of the track, uniting country and alternative rock, is just the icing on the cake. Pick up “On Tape” and see exactly what I mean.

Top Tracks: Outta Vegas, Red and Yellow

Rating: 8.3/10

Adolfo Lazo – On Tape / 2008 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/adolfolazomusic

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