By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
If there's one thing that's evident from the outset about multi-instrumental wunderkind Fernando Perdomo of Dreaming in Stereo — aside from the already established fact he's one of South Florida's most gifted songwriters and musicians — it's that he has obviously listened to a lot of classic albums. He flaunts his well-stocked vinyl library both on the inner sleeve of his band's new CD, Dreaming in Stereo (Van Gogh Records), and in its accompanying video for the lead single, "Steal This Song." But Perdomo proves adept at transferring those collective influences into original songs that shine.
Traces of the Beatles, ELO, the Beach Boys, and the Moody Blues permeate this self-titled set, giving each track an instant familiarity that seizes hold at first encounter. That's owed in large part to the effusive arrangements that accompany songs such as "Misery Loves Companies," "Lazy," "Smile," and "Decisions, Decisions," which are endowed with sumptuously compelling choruses.
Then there's the fact that each track is embossed with a glossy pop sheen and ornate orchestration. Perdomo has a knack for creating hooks that immediately engage, boosted considerably by intricate textures.
But Dreaming in Stereo offers more than mere sugary-sweet excess. Perdomo's lyrical twists reflect a knowing perspective of the music biz and its various pitfalls. Consequently, "Steal This Song" rails against those who would plunder a musician's wares through illegal downloads. Meanwhile, "I'm Not Gonna Move to L.A." touts his loyalty to the local scene over opportunities offered in an entertainment mecca such as Los Angeles. Ultimately, though, Perdomo's appeal derives from craft, creativity, and a lingering sense that Dreaming in Stereo will maintain an unmistakable presence for a long time to come.