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Perdomo, Fernando: Zebra Crossing

Although he already has an impressive catalogue behind him it was 2018’s Out To Sea which introduced me to the excellent progressive output of multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo; an album full of classic prog references proving to be a captivating, involving collection that whetted the appetite for more. And more we have, but maybe not the extra helpings that we expected, for Zebra Crossing, coming after a collaboration with the ever star rising Dave Kerzner, changes tack entirely. An album funded at the last minute through a GoFundMe campaign finding Perdomo Zebra Crossing into Abbey Road Studios to record where his heroes - quite clearly the Beatles - did so many times before him. And Perdomo doesn’t waste the opportunity to show his influences through a set of songs mainly written, created and crafted single handedly, although a number of collaborators such as Kerzner and Durga McBroom do also make their presence felt on occasion.

Revealing 11 new tracks alongside a closing cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles, obviously, Perdomo illustrates a real understanding of the gentle brilliance the Fab Four could conjure at will; with a focus on the mid-paced pop-rock and prog before prog was a thing of the band’s latter years the focus. “I’m Here” however also provides an unexpected aspect, with the personal lyrics which unravel as the album unfolds offering a true journey into the life, history and emotion of the man behind it all. Memories, relationships, good times, bad times and much else in between shared with an uncomplicated honesty and real empathetic nature that draws the listener in.

With strings augmenting the gentle strum and vocal, this opener also leans into the same area Jeff Lynne took ELO, before the grandiose pop shimmer of “Sometimes I Feel Nothing At All” provides the album’s first real sing along. “We Were Raised With Headphones On” suggests that for all that Perdomo loves The Beatles, his real fixation is a certain George Harrison, the languid urgency and insistent chorus a true trademark of the Liverpool lads’ guitarist. It’s also the standout moment on the album. However, with “Not Meant To Be” replete with a sumptuous guitar solo, “Smile” a string infused pop-ballad, “Home” a melancholic swoop that actually reminds of Richard Sjoblom’s Gungfly (don’t let anyone tell you The Beatles didn’t start it all!) and the seven minute-plus title track a powerhouse instrumental workout that still possesses an ultimately accessible heart, the wonderful voyage through this album delivers again and again.

Artists who flit from style to style from album to album can often confuse and frustrate and with his last two solo outings there’s no doubt that Fernando Perdomo could be seen as covering two very distant bases. That both his progressive pulse and pop heart provide joys of equal merit is, however, what really matters. Proving that you can be a jack of all trades and master each and every one after all.


Track Listing
1. I’M HERE
2. SOMETIMES I FEEL NOTHING AT ALL
3. FIND LOVE (HOLD ON)
4. WE WERE RAISED WITH HEADPHONES ON
5. SOMEHOW
6. NOT MEANT TO BE
7. SMILE
8. SUNDAYS
9. CROWN OF STARS
10. HOME
11.ZEBRA CROSSING
12.WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS

Added: January 5th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Zebra Crossing @ Cherry Red
Hits: 199
Language: english

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