LA-based songwriter waxes lyrical and sounds good in the process.
On ‘Back Before the Fall’ Los Angeles based Anthony Savino sings about work and money, about the passing of time, the changes that time brings and the way that we mark time in terms of before and afters. Having recorded these songs in that halcyon period we now call ‘Before Covid’ Savino can now reflect that the marking of time in this way has given these songs new meaning when looking back over the trauma of the last eighteen months.
After only a couple of tracks it is clear that Savino is a storyteller in the best sense of the word. The opening track ‘Fuller Plate’ is a story of the workplace, a cautionary tale of taking on extra responsibility, having that fuller plate at work but at what expense; “Why did I say yes to this extra stress for a menial uptick in pay, and longer work days, less of my own time, more frantic at home time”.
This album opener hints at a simple body of work, a man with a guitar telling tales with minimal accompaniment. However, the full band kicking in on ‘Remember When’, a lovely gentle rumination on two different concepts of time, brings a much more accurate picture of the album’s overall sound. Savino’s clear vocal and poetic lyrics are constants but the subtle use of these accompanying musicians and the occasional presence of Emily Goldstein on backing vocals gives the whole album a fuller sound than that opening track initially hinted at.
In a collection of lyrically strong songs ‘Family Tree’ stands out for its scathing reflection on the conflicting attitudes of generations within the family. The song also works as a comment on the hardened polarised views that exist within the USA today, tackling as it does, in less than three and a half minutes, the voter apathy from parents that allows the Trumps of this world to thrive; “How can the guy who showed me public radio be fine with a fraud in the White House” and, to a grandmother, the treatment of immigrants; “How can an immigrant let her president put foreign children in cages.” As the narrator succinctly sums up “The family tree is losing leaves, it’s losing me, I cannot relate.”
Savino has put together an album that has plenty to say for itself and, as demonstrated in up-tempo songs such as ‘One Track Mind’ and ‘Follow the Money’ he also clearly has an ear for a tune that allows him to present these songs in a very listenable format. Listen to the lyrics, enjoy the music.