Antonio Lopez: mixed metaphor, stirred emotions.
Frequently music and branding are so wrapped up in each other that it is hard to hear one without being influenced by the other. Discovering Antonio Lopez via marketing did him no favours; however, his music is sound, saving him from a slating. As a favour to you, dear reader, this review is not going to impart his mission, his back story, or what his PR team has said because all of this shot him in both feet and the audience’s ears. This is a man with a guitar, that’s all you need to know.
Antonio Lopez plays the acoustic guitar and sings songs reminiscent of Nick Drake, Cat Stevens, Roy Harper and other quiet, soulful folk musicians; ‘Roots and Wings‘ is his debut album. Lopez runs an artist charity platform Soundbridge which has given him access to the resources of studios and session musicians which most debut artists dream of; it is well-produced, with a warm, clear sound. Lopez is quite the folk guitarist and showcases on ‘Roots and Wings‘ a fingerpicking skill up there with some of the greats.
The stand out track is ‘The New Warrior‘ which has a pounding kick drum, bluesy harmonies, a deep bass line, and even some sexy slide guitaring; somehow sounding like Brighton’s own Morcheeba. There were four singles from the album ‘The Truth We Tell’, ‘’42 Ford’, ‘Flying Like a Bird‘, and ‘Going to the City‘ which are worth your time. ‘Elemental Love‘ and Brother Moon‘ have harmonising backing vocals, and interesting percussion such as xylophone and marimba that tease the ear and showcase versatility of instrumentation.
Lopez sings “Break down the barriers, they are only in your mind” which is solid advice to listeners who might miss out on this album by not giving it the plays it needs. The space it fills is a well-saturated one but Lopez has done more than enough to stand out as a player and Americana UK hope he goes from strength to strength and comes back with an interesting second album.