It's rare that I hear an album whose songs transcend simple catchiness, and instead show the unique sense of melody, arrangement and lyricism that mark a top-notch songwriter. David Garza's previous EP, released in anticipation of this major-label debut, showed the potential, but after all, a handful of songs, great as they may be, do not give a clear picture of the talent behind them.
This Euphoria makes it clear that Garza's brilliant EP was not a fluke, as all twelve songs on here are not only memorable but downright infectious. Everything on here is top-notch -- melodies, lyrics, arrangements, instrumentation, production, vocals -- yet the album comes across as more personal than polished. Garza's music will be instantly appealing to those who can appreciate early Queen, Ziggy Stardust Bowie, or any of a number of glam rock influences; he uses the same kind of soaring vocals and velvet harmonies, without sounding the least bit retro.
Ranging from soft understated ditties like "I Know" and the closing "Flower" (both songs whose apparent beauty and fragility camouflage their potent lyrics) to "Disco Ball World," a bittersweet tune anchored by a frantic casiotone rhythm and a heart-wrenching chorus, to the opening "Kinder," a grandly proportioned tune which fuzzes out in a delicious guitar syrup, This Euphoria is a fresh breeze in a stagnating pop planet. I don't know where Garza came from (Austin?), but I sure hope he hangs around for another dozen or so albums like this.