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CD REVIEW: David Cortes - Time Away but Home Again

by: Cyrus Rhodes





Artist/Band: David Cortes

 Album: Time Away but Home Again
Label: Independent Artist

Genre: Soul Rock, Pop Rock,
Sounds Like: Roy Orbison, Van Morrison, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Ricky Nelson, The Everly Brothers

Technical Grade: 6/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 6/10
Commercial Value: 6/10
Overall Talent Level: 6/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Como Quisiera, Sunny Days, About You. Hoy, Manana Siempre

Weakness:  Dated Sound, Repetitive Catalogue, More Instrumentation and solo segments, Marketability 




David Cortes is a multi instrumentalist (vocals, guitar, drums, piano, bass) originally from Monterrey Mexico but is now based out of Houston Texas Cortes is no stranger to the music business in fact he has recorded over 50 songs over the last 5 years to help local artists and has played over 500 live shows over the last 30 years. This debut CD is entitled “Time Away but Home Again” and was released in 2013.

The CD kicks things off with Track 1 “And Then I Met You” a rock steady prelude of sorts that serves up impressive rhythm guitar, driving rock rhythm and emotional vocal delivery from Cortes.  Track 2 “Call to Me” serves up an impressive follow-up statement that dishes out melodic vocal phrasing, panted against poppy musical flow and showcases an impressive culmination making for a highly marketable piece of music with impressive Piano against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Come Back Home” keeps things moving with methodical intro, heartfelt vocal delivery, via well placed acoustic guitar, slamming rhythm section and impressive harmonies that flow and ebb its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Roy Orbison, Van Morrison, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Ricky Nelson and The Everly Brothers. Besides the four piece standard I can also hear a few solos her and there, lush vocal harmonies, keyboards, sporadic percussion. and a bit of Hammond Organ layered within the music. The style of the music is straight up Rock with an emphasis on Americana Pop and a hint of soul. The vocal style from Cortes is impressive and highly melodic. He really knows how to push the emotional envelope well within the confines of each song. The rhythm section (bass and drums) is spot on, and the vocal phrasing is impressive. The overall vocal style from Ziegler is extremely well with the confines of this catalogue. His melodic phrasing and emotional (speaker to ear) touch are the strong suit of his music. By track 4 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. Like a heavy weight boxer the impressive songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From jazzy “Como Quisiera” and Sunny Days” to rocking “About You” and heartfelt “In My Home Again” and “Time Will Tell” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Dreampath”  the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  

As far as weaknesses go – Cortes's thick Spanish Accent will take a toll on some listeners. Though adequate this is not the best mix I’ve ever come across. At the end of the day it lacks a modern day marketability and dynamics. Because of this the CD sounds a bit dated and repetitive reminiscent of music released 20-30 years ago. I wish there were more solo segments and instrumentation present with things like Xylophone, Trumpet, Saxophone, Horn Sections. If I could say anything to Cortes – stick to your strengths - l  wish all your songs sounded like “Como Quisiera” “Sunny Days” and “Hoy, Manana Siempre” all sung in Spanish and all having that Jazzy-Caribbean musical style and flair. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the aforementioned  issues do effect the CD's overall marketability. I even detected a few minor timing issues. 

This latest release by David Cortes "Time Away But Home Again” is a strong and consistent musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the strong song for song consistency, pop-rock-soul feel. that doesn't let up. it’s clearly his strong suit and where he feels most comfortable. The music is catchy, melodic, and highly original. What else can I say?


Cyrus Rhodes