Thanks to their taste for stumbling, off-kilter song structures and vocalist Tom Ray’s barroom rasp, Lorenzo’s Music will always draw comparisons to Tom Waits. That’s not such a bad thing, but it does sell them a bit short. While many of the tunes on Solamente Tres Palabras take their lead from the fractured updates of German cabaret music that reinvigorated Waits’ career, Lorenzo’s Music also embrace a sweeter form of pop-rock that’s all about lonely water-gazers and bruised swains dreaming of a better world.
The ironical lead track, "I’m Doing Fine," is a case in point. It may prickle with low-down signifiers, but Ray’s whiskey-soaked crooning, Mark Whitcomb’s distorted guitar and Scott Beardsley’s clanking percussion don’t obscure the fact that the song’s once-wayward protagonist searches for normalcy and completeness, not the debauchery of his past. The discombobulated surfer ballad "You Were Blonde" may mock romance, but its Beach Boys-inspired melody suggests that Ray’s bleary-eyed barfly really does long for more than a meaningless assignation beneath a burned-out streetlight.
Which isn’t to say that you’re apt to choose Solamente Tres Palabras for background music when cracking open a bottle of Dom with your honey and settling in for a night of romance. Most of the time, it’s not that sweet. Then again, neither is love.
released August 20, 2005
Tom Ray - Vocals
Mark Whitcomb - Guitar
Chris Boeger - Bass
Scott Beardsley - Drums
Bryan Elliott - Saxaphone