Dave Vargo is a veteran studio and touring musician. His resume is extremely impressive including backing Whitney Houston, Phoebe Snow and Vonda Shepard to name a few. He also went to school for music. This is a case of a guy who lives, eats and breathes music.
His recent release Burning Through is an extremely polished album with good songwriting. That being said he cradles all the tropes and familiarities we have heard so many times before in pop and rock. Some people like that and I actually do myself to some extent. It sometimes works very well and a good song is a good song. The songs feel broad and influenced from everything from John Cougar Mellencamp to ’90s rock.
I wanted a little more experimentation and out of the box thinking on this album. It would have been nice to hear Vargo get out of his comfort zone. The songs felt a bit safe and that very well may be what Vargo wants but with that comes the risk of your music getting lost into the ether of an oversaturated market.
I thought Vargo has a great voice and it was best showcased on the more melancholy songs. The first song that really stuck out to me was “Wishing On A Star.” The song has some exceptional guitar playing and Vargo nails the vocal delivery. He also pulls off upbeat and hopeful with “Finding My Way To You” which is such a commercially viable song because of the production.
“Too Young to be Broken” was similar to “Wishing On A Star” in that it was sparse and melancholy. This is again where I felt most connected to his music. As the album progressed “Waiting” and “Pieces of My Heart” were the other highlights to my ears.
Vargo really does have a lot of talent as a musician. That's undeniable. At the end of the day this is still rock/pop music with more of a mainstream appeal. So if that's your cup of tea then this will be an album you won't want to miss.
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