trageser.com
Music Review

Home
Computers
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Interviews
Links
Favorite quotations
Contact Me



Interesting songs

Totally Rad
Totally Rad
By Terry Matsuoka

Crunchy Sandwich: 2006

Buy this CD from CD Baby
Buy it now


This review first appeared in the January 18, 2007 issue of the North County Times.

It's been six years since San Diego singer-songwriter Terry Matsuoka released his debut album. That's a long time between releases, but Matsuoka at least has the decency to reward his fans for the wait with an album full of strong songs and solid playing.

Those who have seen him perform around town are in for a treat. While Matsuoka often (perhaps usually) plays as a solo act with acoustic guitar to accompany his singing, he has a fuller sound here on his second album.

Matsuoka used his studio and his own multitude of instruments (bass, keyboards, drums) to come up with a virtual band. "You'd Be Surprised" (the best song on the CD) appears twice – both as an acoustic song and with the full virtual band, providing an interesting contrast in sounds.

The verdict? Matsuoka's singing has a purity to it, and perhaps a lack of heft that might be better suited to the more sparse arrangement.

More surprises await: On "Sour Cream & Chives" he introduces some hip hop elements that provide a fun edge, while "Beyond" has some pretty heavy electric guitar and an alt rock groove.

Throughout, his songwriting is interesting enough ("El Cajon," "Penny Cup" and "There Goes My Baby" all have decadently sticky pop hooks), and the echo effect on his voice adds enough oomph to the full-band tracks to ensure that the album never fails to charm.