As far as the West Coast country sound is concerned, it has been a long time since a single new artist kicked up as much dust as Cisco. This, his first release, is the culmination of a decade or more of hard work and experience. Carefully crafted, Cisco has created an emotional landscape that includes the valleys and the hills as well as those few, fleeting moments actually spent high on that victorious mountain top.
Flaws and all, this is Cisco and this is life; he pulls no punches. Honest to a fault, rugged songs like "The Bum You Say I Am" and "Bad Man" deal with how the world views the individual, while "Crazy Ones" looks at some of the choices made by that same individual. "30 Years Crazy" is an appealing look back, and "I Hope Tomorrow Comes Real Soon" mirrors a sentiment that everyone who has ever lived has felt. Amazingly universal in his appeal, Cisco's songwriting is plush and detailed. His melodies move fluidly with his lyrics, while the arrangements intensify the entire package. Vocally, Cisco is capable of moving between extremes with ease. His warm heart and deep soul come through as he sings "Hard Times Again." On the other hand, his sense of the absurd and fun are revealed on "Pink Motel," while more contrast is apparent on "Can't Take This Anymore." The musicianship here is superb, all are up to the task of keeping a compulsive perfectionist at bay and happy. To the credit of Ness and Saez, there is just enough production to highlight the talent of Cisco & the Reasons Why without overwhelming the organic nature of the music. Certainly, this is something very special created by an artist who is ultimately his own man.