Singer/songwriter Diego Garcia's 2011 solo debut, Laura, is a gorgeously crafted and ceaselessly melodic mix of soft-focus '60s and '70s-influenced pop. Where his former band Elefant (who broke up in 2010) favored a kind of '80s-influenced post-punk revivalism, Garcia is clearly enamored with the symphonic echo-chamber sound of such artists as Harry Nilsson, Donovan, Nick Garrie, and others. These are largely acoustic guitar-driven songs, centered around Garcia's burnished, yearning baritone vocals and often layered simply with sweet cello lines, liberal vocal harmonies, hand percussion, and other organic instrumentation. Such tracks as the dreamy and insistent "You Were Never There" and the languidly funky "Roses and Wine" are addictive psychedelic nuggets of late-afternoon AM radio pop. Elsewhere, Garcia infuses his songs with a spaghetti Western/Spanish guitar vibe, as on such slow-burn earworms as "Separate Lives" and the yearning ballad "Stay." Ultimately, Garcia's Laura, much like the sensual, lightly flamenco-inflected ballad "All Eyes on You" that closes out the album, is a roiling fever-dream caravan that simmers in your head long after it's passed.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar