This Euphoria (Atlantic)
by Jamie Kiffel
David Garza is unafraid to move inside his music. He twists his voice, genielike, into seductive vocal apparitions; light, sighing falsettos, Beatlesesque midrange harmonics, and fuzzy, garbled funk psychedelia. Garza dabbles in technotyping taps in “Core (This Time)” with a copy machine swish introduction; in “Discoball World” in which a close and clear voice suddenly becomes scratchy and distant with the lyric, “We’d listen to the left side of the radio,” and in “Slave” where we receive an unexpected rasta reggae grin. Not only does Garza choose his influences well, but he wields them like professional juggling clubs: he combines his musical dexterity with the finest starting materials, and then makes them spin, twist, and do dazzling tricks. Bongos lend the groove of a drum circle to “This Euphoria;” pentatonic tinkling guitars on “Lost” connote Zen thought without absurdly spacey attempts at Zen poetry, and even a string trio adds to the texture of the album without showcasing the instruments to brag of their presence. Instead, each element on the disc weaves organically throughout the others to create a fascinating, shifting animal which constantly changes its colors to reveal a slow, musical rainbow.
Especially exciting are Garza’s lyrics, which are both poetic in terms of their ideas and harmonically appropriate to the music. When the words shiver into their raw syllables and become less easily decipherable, the music fills in the proper mood, as do the tones of the words themselves. These lyrics do merit attention for their pure poetry, if only to catch such lyrical turns as “I fell for your coffee highs/your half and half white lies” and “I found you dancing with the blissed out brothers and the dread-lock white girls spinning… with the extra virgins and the gold teeth stoners” on “Discoball World.” The music feels like an entity, not a reach toward a state of being. You can enjoy a stack of IHOP pancakes, the mass-produced pleasure of a Stouffer’s pizza and even your lover’s misdirected efforts at a “fancy dinner,” but you know that when you have the cash to do it, a perfect fifty dollar filet mignon is still the measure of fine food. Likewise, you can wade through all the alternative and experimental music you care to indulge in, but for a dazzling display of what finely wrought talent can produce, let This Euphoria remind you of how good music can be.
(1290 6th Ave. New York, NY 10104)