Lorenzo Goetz
"Jesus Elephant"

(Innocent Words Records 2004)Lorenzo Goetz - Jesus Elephant

With a definite hop in their step, Lorenzo Goetz blend gentle grooves into their soft pop inspired rock on the band's "Jesus Elephant." The Illinois-based quartet keep things light throughout, balancing the thumping bass with singer and guitarist Larry Gates' smooth vocals. What is more, Lorenzo Goetz only use programming on about half of the tracks, keeping a sound on the other half of the album that is crisp and bright. Although a surprising choice, it is one that reflects well on the band's musicianship.

Gates' vocals roll between a spoken and a sung delivery on the lilting and upbeat "Muy Macho." Bouncy rhythms set the tone for "American Love Story" and "Several Days Away" as they easily pull you into the songs as they gain momentum. The soft instrumental "Hymnal" works as a smart lead in to perhaps the album's most notable track. the intense "Flagrante Delicto (3some)" with its lightly echoing thumping rhythm and melody fusing together. The soft tone is broken, however, for the album's closing track, "Buddah" as more traditional rapping is layered over slide guitar and hand claps.

Rarely do Lorenzo Goetz raise their voices and their instruments above the gentle and low volume that dominates "Jesus Elephant," knowing instead how to control the listener with more than easy to manipulate dynamics. While not bringing anything new to the table, Lorenzo Goetz has, however, brought a fresh approach to a well established sound. "Jesus Elephant" is an album of gentle and laid back grooves and melodies, never taking itself too seriously or too lightly.

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