David Rosales – Revive
This is a vinyl review & I must admit that despite my antiquated system it sounds pristine & feels right. The vinyl has lows not heard on CDs…it must be the audio fidelity on the heavy quality vinyl pressing. Whether it was intended or not I hear it & it’s blissful. An ambiance that just flows from cartridge to speakers.
The first 2 tracks unfold with luster. “Ask Her Dance,” & “Spoonful” — all weaved tightly with fine musicianship. David Rosales’ extremely expressive vocals & featuring Lauren Breen’s delicious backup vocals are quite a soundscape. “Turn It Around,” is vintage soulful Muscle Shoals extolling music. Soft focus horns, backup vocals brush gently & the groove — mild exuberance similar to tunes produced by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. But it’s Ms. Breen’s vocals which are luxuriant as they shadow around the notes. Rosales remains solid with his gripping expressive vocals (“Some People”) – somewhere between Gary U.S. Bonds & Garland Jeffries.
Produced by Mike Willson (percussion/bv) & David Rosales (vocals/guitar). Revive (Drops July 22–Rosales Music) was recorded in California but the LP transcends the L.A. aspects & creates a fluid Southern pastiche. The 12-song LP has consistency & virtuosity. Even the lyrics have a warm lingering embrace of the South. It isn’t reliant on blues, country, honky-tonk, or Southern California singer-songwriter density but a hybrid with the added soulful genuine touch.
“Joyride,” is delivered as a brass-inflected commercial-edged tune with traditional jubilance. A dynamic song sung with deep tones & the sultry supportive voice of Ms. Breen. It all adds to the Herb Alpert-Burt Bachrach type brass accentuations. This is a cool night, top-down cruising the strip type song. Deliciously conceived. “Beautiful Waste,” — a guitar-driven selection has impeccable soulful vocals in the tradition of the late Michael Been’s The Call.
The LP isn’t so much to be played as a bunch of songs as it is to be experienced as a rousing time to be youthful & free of politics & pessimism. It’s a joyous experience, a dazzling collection of why it’s good to be alive. None of these songs existed when I was 13. But it brought me back to that era. It distinguishes the moment with clarity. Not all music to be enjoyed requires intensity, or even artistic merit. It requires an ability to penetrate the heart & soul – leave behind footprints in every memory & revive.
I had to remember to flip the record over. Ha. “Down the Line,” wow – strong song. Infused with soulful energy & heavy-duty rock resilience. Rosales is consistent & has a savvy delivery. Exemplary performances by the ever-billowing vocals of Ms. Breen with Marko Sanchez (drums), Tony Dean (bass), Jeremy Long (clavinet/dobro/organ/pedal steel/piano/Rhodes), Tom Bremer (guitar/bv), Anthony Grisham (guitar), Prichard Pearce (trumpet/trombone/sax), Mike Wilson (percussion/bv) & Cole Blackamore (bv).
Mr. Rosales has quite a band. Group image: Rosales’ website/Solo color photo: Nick Setchel.