Mario Hernandez’s third album as From Bubblegum to Sky opens with a pop-rock punch more immediate than anything on his solid-to-great first two albums. The opening tracks are especially catchy and sharp, with big guitar riffs burning and shining while the melodies smile sweetly. What often sounds like fun in the sun reveals itself quickly to be something darker and more complicated. “I Always Fall Apart”, one song is called, “The King of Failed” another, and it becomes clear that Hernandez’s songs, sweet as they are, are going to poke incisively into human fears and foibles, with no qualms. A stormy cloud clearly hangs over songs like “I Always Fall Apart”, but just as often the musical mood points upward while the lyrics cut into and against it, spilling out loneliness and hurt. “Even the sun will let you down,” he sings on the final track.
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// Notes from the Road
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