This review was originally published on The Doughnut.
Sometimes, you just want to chill out to a bit of yesteryear. It doesn’t seem to matter what decade you were born in, sometimes only the old masters will do. I didn’t grow up in the 60s but there are times when only The Beatles or early Pink Floyd will hit the spot for me. I know twenty-year-olds for whom only Leonard Cohen, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan or other 60s giants can clear away the crap of the day and refresh their hearts.
So what do you do with a phenomenon like Eron Falbo? This Brazilian-born singer-songwriter is new, he’s young, he has his debut album ’73’ out – yet he croons like one of the masters straight out of the 70s. Eron Falbo is both ‘yesteryear’ and very much ‘now’ which leaves me somewhat befuddled. I can’t define him.
From the opening track, ‘A Baby-Step of Faith’, I feel like I’m listening to a trucker’s album of great rock hits from the classic rock decade. The Cohen-like ballad with gentle tinkling piano accompanying Falbo’s distinctive, gravelly voice is immediately attractive. You know from the beginning if you’re gonna like this album or not (and if you don’t then I don’t want know you).
Annoyingly though, I hear hints of lots of influences which I struggle to put my finger on. I keep pausing the tracks because I’ve heard some riff or chord progression and can’t quite place it. In most cases I still can’t though I’m certain I’ve heard them somewhere before. This is Falbo’s genius as a songwriter. He knows his 60s/70s genres extremely well but is a creative giant who can use this to make something uniquely his own.
The album covers a range of styles from the bluesy ‘Any Fool a Man’ with wonderful Clapton-style slide guitar to the Latin-American introduction of ‘I’ll See You Again’ and the country rock backing not dissimilar to The Eagles and then on to the child lullaby ‘Only Me Too’ (surely be influenced by John Lennon’s ‘Beautiful Boy’?).
‘What I Could’ve Been’
Falbo takes sadness and angst in his stride yet also produces great fun numbers such as my favourite track ‘What I Could’ve Been’. This rip-roaring harmonica-driven blues-rock piece is an immediate ear-worm – one which you won’t mind stuck in your head. The tight band backing makes the song almost faultless.
Not that the whole album is so perfect. I think the final track ‘I want It All’ is a little too grandiose and pompous (not helped by a tame 6/8 beat) but even this is still pretty darned good; I just think it isn’t quite up to the standard of the rest of the tracks. It’s a small gripe and songs like ‘It’ll All Be Fine’ – with its wonderful mix of Beatles-era Clapton, Rolling Stones and even a hint of Dire Straits (well, that’s what I heard, anyway)- more than makes up for it anyway.
It’s difficult to believe Eron Falbo began his career as a DJ for the clubs. He’s certainly something of a chameleon. Before releasing this debut album, Falbo released his 60s style ‘Beat the Drums’ which hinted strongly of what was to come. But though Falbo claims the album is rooted in the sound of the 60s (which he believes to have reached its pinnacle in 1973, hence the title name) I think the album is a progression on from his single and is firmly rooted in the sound of the 70s. Whatever, it’s a great debut and well worth indulging in. Eron Falbo is certainly assured of a bright future even as he looks into the past.