Review: Ramona Cordova – “The Boy Who Floated Freely”

If the folks at Elephant 6 aren’t head over heels with this disc, there’s simply no justice left in the world.

A concept record about a boy named Giver who wakes up on a distant shore and struggles with his love for an island girl, Ramon Alarcon’s latest is a tender and eclectic collection of acoustic song-stories that are as emotive as they are difficult to pin down to a genre. Over the span of 11 songs, there are shades of Neutral Milk Hotel, sure, but also strong hints of flamenco, Hawaiian slack key guitar and — could it be? — Edith Piaf.

The record’s most riveting detail, though, is clearly Alarcon’s one-of-a-kind voice, which hits you in the gut whether it’s casually coasting over a gentle guitar pattern or soaring in that cherubic, almost chirpy falsetto.

There’s a brief appearance, in the disc’s latter tracks, of recorder and accordion but the record is an affair dominated by Alarcon’s voice and his acoustic guitar, and for good reason. It’s what sells the story. – Punk Planet, March/April 2006

About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.