If you're gonna offer this lame service, Jeff, you could at least be professional enough to do some editing:
Driven in a quest for discovering moving and emotive music, we reference music which is known versus music that is unknown. Music that is learned versus music that is as yet, unlearned. As a primary rule, we can hearken back to the words of Arturo Toscanini as he coached his orchestra, "This is music, feel something!" A release from an unknown artist must be allowed to blossom. With familiarity growing from each listen,'Destination Venus' from Todd Giudice is currently in full-bloom in this reviewers CD collection
Todd Giudice is from the Hudson Valley region of New York, and his 11-song disc evokes the sonic textures of The Band, Wilco and Dream Syndicate co-mingled with the best of America's folk rock roots. The jangling guitars and great melodic lyric phrasing blend to offer a sincere and lingering commentary that can easily be related to the living experience
. In the opening track 'Waiting for the war to begin' Todd Giudice sings of the often painful depths of interpersonal interaction. He describes the essence of the knowing familiarity of two souls intertwined in a relationship; the anticipations and anxieties that lie therein and offers the realization of the inevitable co-dependence
. He hints at the complacency to live within these two inevitable extremes as he sings "You know how to get near and hang my every thought on a string. Then you tear 'em down, each and every one, now there's no sound left to hear. We're waiting for the war to begin."
With a pure Americana vibe and Todd strumming an acoustic guitar, the track 'Help' delivers an almost country groove. The band remains grounded enough to excavate the emotional depths and lays bare an earthiness that lies beneath our emotions
. Todd's vocals open with "I think I need a little help, asking for assistance. Baby, what I really want is some of your religion", describing what it means to have a degree of confidence and experience, yet still try to humbly face the world each day. The lesson is that the older we grow, the more biased the terrain and the more we should realize perhaps it takes a little work to remain objective and not isolate ourselves through idiosyncratic inward collapse
In 'She's so beautiful'
Todd sings of adoration. "In a stream of innocence, I can see her soul. It comes out soft and slow. All her love, it spills like sunshine from her eyes, in a gaze of endless sky". He is smitten, he is absorbed and he is devoted. This song also offers an exceptional retro-60s guitar solo reminiscent of that wonderful Roger McGuinn solo on "Eight miles high"
with the Byrds or Pete Townsend's guitar work on "I can see for miles"
with the Who
In 'Grind', Todd Giudice sings "You start out really beautiful, then you reveal your tragic side" capturing that awkwardness and the incredible balance of daily living levied against self-control and the inherent vices we each carry with us
. In this sense, he is speaking of emotional bad habits and not the traditional destructive behavior. As a bonus track, there is an acoustic version of this song instead of the full-band arrangement that appears earlier on this disc. The acoustic version, with its naked and spare instrumentation, offers a glimpse at the intimate power of a Todd Giudice solo performance.
With a balance of maturity coupled with strong melodies, exceptional band support and a fine recording, one wonders why an artist like this doesn't have wider national appeal. Anxiously, this reviewer will wait for further music and another chapter describing the beauty and fine details of our own evolving human condition
. The music of Todd Giudice should be much more widely known.
Reviewed by: Jeff Robinson Posted: 2004-11-21 00:00:00