A multi instrumentalist with a penchant for ukulele and bass guitar… ah, a man truly on my wavelength! This six track release promises a diverse mix of styles from a guy with a diverse musical background ranging from metal to American Idol. With my baseball cap set at an appropriately Californian jaunty angle my spidey sense is starting to tingle… so let’s dig in…
Edward Hernandez starts us off with a sweetly picked chordal melody atop a simple beat and gentle melodic bass with In Memorium. It’s a beautiful short piece and works well as a prelude to the CD but I cannot help but wish it matured further into something longer, I found myself willing the vocal melody to start. But hey, the old adage of “always keep them wanting more” is a cliché for a reason.
Monday however delivers immediately, a cute scratched vinyl intro blasted away with a nice rhythmic strum, syncopated bass and Latin influenced percussion track, the vocals awash with effects in the catchy chorus. Hold Me Close offers a similarly lulled intro making way for a rather funky verse and chorus dallying with modern jazz, the vocals extremely modern in style. The diversity is certainly delivering as promised.
The modern influence is infused further with some great females vocals in Just Wanna Dance With You, Edward’s vocal taking it up a notch with a powerful delivery, rhythmic bass and ukulele again dominating the backing rather nicely. The style is very much American indeed Californian, there is something in the delivery that helps nail this R&B style to the West coast mast. It’s certainly something new to my ears in the ukulele world and as regular readers will know, I always embrace a new twist with open arms.
The Cheesey Love Song is a great title and not all that cheesey in this humble reviewer’s opinion leading us to he final track, The Legend of the Spanish Strummer. Now there’s a title with great expectation and it certainly delivers showcasing Edward’s playing technique to maximum effect both in the strum and terrifically played melody (the vocals taking a rest) backed with some great bongo playing (another of my soft spots if I’m honest). This is certainly my favourite track of the album indeed I’d buy the thing just to have this song jump from a playlist and down my headphones once in a while. The track has an unusual ending too that leaves you hanging. There’s that aforementioned cliché again!
To sum things up as we reviewers do so the lazier reader can just read the last paragraph, this is yet another welcome and new direction for ukulele music. I’m excited by the Latin feel that beats behind the laid back R&B song writing style and I adore the last track so much I’ve just played it again.