Jon Garcia – S/T (CD)

Jon Garcia is another individual that tires to make their fame through playing a style of adult contemporary rock that is full of energy and soul. While there is a tremendous amount of emotion shown in Garcia’s own vocals on the tracks of the disc, perhaps more emotional has to be the arrangements that await listeners during tracks like “Sweet Misery”. The inclusion of strings during “Sweet Misery” is that little extra added thing that will differentiate Garcia from the rest of the individuals playing this genre of music. It is almost as if Garcia has blended equal parts Radiohead and Maher.

Where most individuals would not be able to pull off a plus-five minute track with their first substantive track on a disc, there is enough in the way of differentiation in Garcia’s music that individuals will stick with eir for at least a few other tracks. “Heart Shaped Skelton Keys” continues bringing the Radiohead influence to listeners, but the back and forth of the arrangements during this track seems to play more to the Billy Joel style of songwriting more than anything. For those individuals that want a high value for whatever disc they purchase, Jon Garcia’s album should be at the top of their lists. There is nearly an hour of music in this disc, and all of the compositions here are chock-full of dense arrangements and a number of interpretations which a listener can take.

During a track like “Life Between Cigarettes”, hints of Conor Oberst present themselves, even as the music played during the track hearkens back to an earlier period, back when indie and emo rock shared a lot more. While the compositions are played well and Garcia does not falter on the disc, I cannot see many in the way of radio stations picking up the album. There needs to be too much in the way of listener investment into the tracks on the disc; the tempestuous track “Television Blackhole” is perfect example of this. This will not be the big hit of the summer, but for the amount individuals can get back from listening to the track, the only thing that I could compare Garcia to would have to be Two Gallants. The disc is a piece of work, and for individuals that like actually thinking about the music they are putting on their player, Garcia’s self-titled disc may just be what is needed.

Top Tracks: Television Blackhole, Sweet Misery

Rating: 7.1/10

Jon Garcia – S/T / 2006 Self / 14 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/jongarciaportland / Reviewed 06 September 2006

[JMcQ]

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