Not since David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (and Peter Schilling’s later rejoinder “Major Tom”) and Elton John’s “Rocket Man” has a rock artist so artfully captured the alienation of being somewhere out in space as emerging singer/songwriter Eduardo on his official full length debut studio album Cruising a Melody.
Over an initially laid-back guitar driven groove that becomes more emphatically chaotic to reflect the reality of earth below, the Peruvian born, U.S. based artist speaks of feeling out of place, reflecting on the crowded, angry and destructive world below - yet feeling at some point he’s “Gotta be beamed down,” hoping someone will catch his fall. That’s just one of the many lyrically/thematically impactful, musically compelling gems on the nine-track collection, which – true to the album title – includes another soul traveling tune (the Jack Johnson-esque, let it all go romp “Trip Around the Sun”) and a fiery invitation to “take a trip with me through time” on “Time Machine,” the album’s second lead single whose blistering guitar riff earned the ultimate critical praise with comparisons to The Beatles and Beach Boys.
These edgier tracks nicely balance the more chill acoustic pop vibe Eduardo’s developed his rep with since releasing his 2018 debut EP Rusty Strings, which earned a nomination from Toronto’s Independent Music Awards. Romantically inclined songs in this vein include the infectious, free-flowing “Love Elation,” the wistful “Convince Me Today” and especially the philosophical folk-pop tune “Sunrise,” which has Eduardo – who has a Master’s in Literature – contemplating the circular nature of life and the inevitabilities of passing time. Perhaps the greatest gift Eduardo bestows us with is the insight he gives into the sometimes frustrating creative process, including the dreaded writer’s block.
On another lead single, the mid tempo pop rocker “For A While,” he sings of the fleeting nature of inspiration, the difficulty of capturing the perfect line and even reaches out to an outside source or person for help. At one point, he starts comparing his sufferings to those of Jesus (!) before realizing “maybe it’s time to put this crucifix down.” The jangling, electric guitar fired closer “Unknown Melody” taps into a similar aesthetic, informing us “I’ve been sitting here for so long/Trying to come up with something for this song” before engaging in a pretty good tune that includes the unique admission that crafting a great song involves “erasing my mistakes line by line.”