Rick McGuire – Dust & Tears (CD)

There are only two players to the different elements heard on “Dust & Tears”. When an individual has the ability to hear exactly what sort of dense and detailed sound issues forth from their speakers during “Dust & Tears”, they will be amazed. McGuire himself takes on the vocals, bass, guitars, and drums, while Donnie LaMarca takes the strings and the piano-type instruments. “Breathe” is the culmination of these two talented musicians, making for a track that touches upon the Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon, and even earlier acts like Neil Young and Bryan Adams.

“Breathe” is destined for rotation on college and alternative radio, and represents the best possible foray into the minds and hearts of listeners that are new to McGuire’s work. “Up All Night” may not be as immediately catchy as “Breathe”, but represents an important track on “Dust & Tears” as it allows McGuire to spread his wings. The production here gently caresses the rich layering of drums, guitars, and vocals. While there are still catchy vocals and heart-felt allusions, it is really the musical side of things that represents the most beautiful thing here. “Beauty In Lies” may be the best track on “Dust & Tears”, though. There is a darker, more brooding sound that flickers at the periphery during this track, which starts innocently enough as a description of a female.

The blending of knowledge and love here strikes a chord that resonates in anyone that is turned onto the track. “Hero” drops much of the instrumentation that is present throughout the album, instead opting for a much more laissez-faire approach to the song. While there are drums and a synthesizer flickering at the edges of the thing, it is the vocals that command the most attention. There is a certain timeless quality with McGuire’s vocals here, ensuring that fans of all ages will find something that they can appreciate. In that sense, then, “Hero” represents in a part the whole of Dust & Tears: impressive rock music that is eclectic enough to keep all interested and eagerly anticipating more by the end of “Come Inside”.

Top Tracks: Breathe, Dust & Tears

Rating: 8.3/10

Rick McGuire – Dust & Tears / 2009 Self / 9 Tracks / http://www.rick-mcguire.com / http://www.myspace.com/rickmcguiresongs

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