STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11617-10424 LABEL: Word Curb 8788262 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2004-08-06 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
The first thing that strikes you about this eponymous release is the sophisticated black and white photo of Ortega looking not unlike Robert De Niro in a coffee bar. Just as De Niro as an actor is in a league of his own, Ortega's debut release on Curb is exemplary. Having received multiple Dove Awards and featured alongside the likes of Alison Krauss and Nickel Creek, you would expect something out of the ordinary from this man and this is no disappointment. Fernando starts proceedings with three songs that do not have an obvious spiritual theme but portray a keen observation of backwater American life. By track four, Fernando leads us into inspirational territory which takes us right to the end of the album via an appealing dobro-led version of "Rock Of Ages" and his self-penned hymn "More Love To Thee". However, the standout track for me is the dazzlingly simple "Dragonfly" closely followed by an ode to his former landlady "Mildred Madalyn Johnson". The instrumentation and musicianship on this album is beautifully underplayed but it still retains the ability to be punchy and quirky when needed and suits Ortega's mellow vocals to the ground. I cannot stress enough how good this is - go out and get a copy!
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out