Originally from Colorado Springs, singer and songwriter Dave Arvizu aka Rvzoo has been a longtime pillar in and around the Colorado music scene. Rvzoo’s genius is expressed in his love for music and skill as a multi-instrumentalist. His latest work titled Guiding Star is a powerful testimony of the musical capabilities of Rvzoo and The Sugar Spun Elephant Band.
Undisputedly, one of the best albums of the year, Guiding Star by Rvzoo and The Sugar Spun Elephant Band is a tremendous work consisting of ten tracks. Rvzoo’s band is a humble acronym for himself. According to the band’s bio “Dave Arvizu aka Rvzoo is on guitar, lead vocals, singer-songwriter, keyboard, ukulele and the kitchen sink!” Guiding Star successfully captures the creativity that is so often lacking in today’s music.
Guiding Star opens with When I Was Young, an impressive pop tune that draws from elements of classic rock. Somewhat reminiscent of the legendary Elton John’s style, When I Was Young brandishes the nostalgia of traditional rock music and compliments the song’s theme of a veteran rocker reflecting on the days when times were tough but the music was so good. When I Was Young is a tremendous way to open an album.
One quality about Rvzoo that allows him to quickly build an affinity with an audience is the organic quality of his music. This is clearly evident in Give Me More, a dynamic love song that is a petition to delve deeper into matters of the heart. The track begins with a nice vocal overdub that streams off into a great acoustic guitar lead. Give Me More is an excellent example of how full a song can sound when the time is spent on building its structure.
Which Way To Run is a cerebral folk-rock tune. The energy of the song and its structure is similar to The Beatles’ You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away. Which Way To Run is a song about things that happen in the face of rough times. Delightfully, the track is more meditative than dark and one of my favorites thus far.
If I Was A Bird is another album gem. The song has a great structure and Rvzoo sounds great on the track that is backed by violin, acoustic guitar, drums, and a surpassing composition. This is good music that is summertime bright when we really get to appreciate the simple things about life. Thank you Rvzoo!
Wow! The next two tracks on the album really add to the Guiding Star’s depth. A Song for Joyce is an exquisite pianist track that is wonderfully played and sung. Based on the song’s lyrical content, it seems to have been a track that Rvzoo’s father had written for his mother. The beauty of this song is something that can’t be captured by words. Lonely Desert Wind is the next track on the album. Another breathtaking melody that is attractively produced for every music lover’s fantasy, an “add an extra star symphony” that will have listeners walking in the clouds. Lonely Desert Wind is an enchanting jewel, which leads us into the album’s title track Guiding Star. Unfolding like a lotus flower, Guiding Star is another demonstration of Rvzoo’s musical ingenuity and charm. Guiding Star is a memorable musical experience that is masterful in its presentation.
Thru This Space and Time leads to the latter end of the Guiding Star album. Thru This Space and Time, as its title would suggest, incorporates elements of psychedelic rock with its theme of a person trying to find their way through life, something that we all can understand. What’s really cool about Guiding Star is that Rvzoo and The Sugar Spun Elephant Band draw the close of the album in an unorthodox style, where the listeners get to hear the musician zone out and just go with the flow. We find this to be the case in the next song Transmission Ends, a hazy tune with an obscure but fitting vocal from Rvzoo. Guiding Star’s musical journey concludes with A Song for Joyce (Reprise). It’s a fitting conversation between piano and trumpet that keeps the album’s conclusion on a bright note.
Overall, Guiding Star by Rvzoo and The Sugar Spun Elephant Band is a masterpiece! Guiding Star is a perfectly composed album that possesses something for everybody including students of the musical arts. Guiding Star is something that should be studied for its craftsmanship, inventiveness, and structure. Rvzoo and The Sugar Spun Elephant Band not only outdid himself, he also closed the show!
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