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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Anthony Garcia

Acres of Diamonds - Los grande exitos

Review by Gary Hill

Anthony Garcia is a very talented person, and this release is really strong. Garcia plays guitar, sings and is a classically trained pianist. He's also into a lot of different musical styles. That allows for quite a bit of range here. Overall, this lands in the zone of Americana more often than not, but perhaps the over-hanging aspect on all it is an almost cinematic vibe. However you label it, though, there is not a weak song on the disc. It varies enough from track to track to keep it from ever feeling redundant, too. This is just an exceptionally strong disc.

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Track by Track Review
Santa Rosa
Drenched with Americana, blues and rock and roll merge on this dramatic and powerful tune.
Fire Song
As strong as the opener was, this leaves it in the dust. It's still packed full of that Americana concept, but the whole thing is just intensified. I love the guitar and violin soloing on the piece.
While the main concept isn't greatly changed here, this doesn't really feel like either of the previous tunes. Well, it does in terms of quality. This is perhaps a bit more mainstream rock than the other two were, but it still has plenty of that meaty Americana magic in the mix. There is some fierce guitar soloing on the extended instrumental movement later.
The Wind
An acoustic guitar based number, this doesn't lose one bit of magic with the change from electric. The instrumental work is intricate. The vocals really pack a lot of style and emotion. Those vocals shine more due to the fact that there is less instrumental accompaniment. That said, violin does join on the instrumental section. Other instruments join before the song is over to augment the arrangement, but this never electrifies.
Haunted Hotels
The whole musical vision seems to be re-imagined here. In some ways the sound of this is more modern. It is also less rocking than the first few songs were. There are definite classical music angles to this. I would almost consider this to be progressive rock. There is a dreamy kind of quality to it. It never loses the magic or charm, though. The echoey, understated guitar solo does bring some of that Americana to bear.
My Hands Are My Eyes
We're back into the hard rocking zones here. The guitar work on this is positively incendiary and the whole tune just oozes cool.
For Your Love
Piano and voice are the central components of this song as it gets going. There are definitely some country music hints here. This is a potent ballad with a lot of emotion built into it. Other instruments augment the arrangement further down the road, and there is a classic sounding blues rock guitar solo. The piano soloing is magical, too.
A delicate ballad, this has intricate Spanish-styled guitar. This is a big change from everything else here, yet it somehow works. There are classical music elements over the top of much of this arrangement.     
Acres of Diamonds
The title track closes the disc. Acapella vocals start it, and guitar brings the Americana from there. This is a slowly evolving number that has a real artistic approach, but also a familiar feeling and motif. This has such a great sound and serves well to ground the disc before it's over.
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