Fernando Tarango – October 31, 2009 Album Review

Fernando Tarango is a singer-songwriter with a bit of a hilarious history which he strangely isn’t scared to reveal. To quote: “After three months performing on Holland America Cruise Lines, concerts with the Grammy Award Winning Pacific Boychoir in California, and bar shows in Wyoming…”

Essentially, this says a lot about his character. Tarango is probably a pretty interesting chap. October 31, 2009 blasts off with “All About You”, a track on which Ted Leo and Jerry Lee Lewis seem to shake musical hands; Tarango’s brilliantly playful vocals shine above it all. His energy is infectious, and it continues through the following track, “Oh, Michelle”. If the album keeps down this pop-oriented indie rock path, it could be borderline annoying, but it would remain mostly positive.

By the third track, though, the album begins to slow down with an almost adult contemporary “Push On”. Pop is still the name of the game, but it becomes blended with genres such as jazz and adult contemporary. I’m confused. What happened? Beyond the first two songs, October 31, 2009 feels like a different beast altogether. There are some straight-up jazzy lounge numbers and some which Jason Mraz might have penned before he reached super-songwriter status. Halfway through the album, as one is vibing on the sexy but strangely named “Farming”, it begins to be apparent that Tarango’s personality is just about the only factor giving the tracks the oomph they need. Were it not for that, the instrumentals are generally pleasing, but pretty generic. And by the time the last three tracks roll around, I’m already done with this album. It starts off really strong and remains entertaining for the most part, but there’s definitely some material that the album would be better off without.

 

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Written by
Vivian Hua 華婷婷

Vivian Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer. As the Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum in Seattle and Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary arts publication, REDEFINE, much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. Vivian regularly shares human-centered stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE! In 2021, they will begin production on a BIPOC metaphysical comedy film entitled RECKLESS SPIRITS. They are passionate about cultural spaces, sustainable practices, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. YEAH!

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