Bring on the Happy
Rob Bonfiglio (pronounced 'Bon-feel-e-o') displays consummate musicianship in full bloom on this, his debut solo CD (power pop aficionados may remember Bonfiglio's avatar band 'The Skies Of America' & their 2006 release 'Shine'). A one-man effort, the album was recorded at The Manor, the artist's home studio in Los Angeles and it's sound harkens back to the homespun DIY charm honed by seminal artists like Todd Rundgren, Paul McCartney and Laura Nyro. Like those singularly unique artists, Rob possesses his own intangible magic, creating a wondrous sonic marriage of intoxicating music and arresting lyrics that defy easy classification. Bonfiglio is no mere copyist or retro slave, but his own man. 'Bring On The Happy' is the splendid result, showcasing a feast of radio friendly tunes that resound with the powerful artistic voice of a distinctive new talent. 'Making this record came easily because it came from an honest place that wasn't labored or contrived,' asserts Bonfiglio. Passionate, intimate, a little bit quirky - the tunes that comprise 'Bring On The Happy' span the full range and colors of human emotion. A gifted songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Bonfiglio's grand, impressionistic songs all share one common trait: each is marked by sweeping tuneful melodies, powerful vocals, tight musicianship, and ear grabbing hooks that refuse to leave your brain, illustrated in part by the taut power pop fueled jewel, 'React', the sublime classicism of 'How To Mend A Heart,' Beach Boys-like bounce of 'Straight from The Heart,' and stately grandeur of the beautiful ballad, 'Some Days Are Better.' The record's impeccable arrangements add to it's allure; it's elasticity of sound, surprising aesthetic choices and meticulous attention to detail evoke the work of some of pop music's finest craftsmen like Todd Rundgren and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham. Bonfiglio reflects, 'Looking at the record as a whole, I can say I approached the writing from two different, subconscious angles. Composing on guitar lent itself to certain open textural approaches to arrangement, approaches I'm more at home with; 'React' exemplifies this 'thinking-in-terms-of-a-full-band' approach. As a guitarist, composing on piano has been an exploration in less familiar territory; an approach to writing I really plan to do more of. I have this amazing 100-year-old upright piano I bought super cheap on eBay...certain chordal overtones have this almost spooky, haunted sound like a playground full of children screaming & playing. The allure of that sound plus the fact that my fingers were less reliant on familiar patterns - chord progressions would unfold unexpectedly. Songs like 'How To Mend A Heart' were born this way.' A Philadelphia native, Bonfiglio first came to prominence as a member of the acclaimed '90s power pop quartet, 'Wanderlust', who scored a hit with their RCA Records release 'Prize'. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2001, he's worked with a slate of musical heavyweights including Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson; Wilson Phillips; producer Julian Raymond (Fastball/Glen Campbell) among others. He's also enjoyed success as a songwriter with music featured on television (MTV, VH1, and A&E) and in films including Disney's 'Bridge To Terabithia', Myriad Pictures' 'Eulogy' and National Lampoon's 'Van Wilder II'. Taking time out from his solo career, Rob is the guitarist in 'Wilson Phillips' and has demonstrated his formidable six-string abilities on such high profile TV shows as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Good Morning America and in live performance at the Hollywood Bowl. 'Bring On The Happy' is a confident and impassioned musical statement by a remarkable artist. These are 'heart' songs that eschew the cookie-cutter trappings of much of today's contemporary music. Delving deep inside the fragility and complexity of human emotion, the music found on his new record is real and honest, just like the artist himself.