Hard Days Gone
That Vito has mastered the Pop mode -- and that of New Country (same thing) -- is not surprising when you consider who he lists as his influences: The Beatles, Elvis, John Cougar, Jim Cuddy. Combine that with the amazing richness and depth of the musical team he's assembled to help him realize this project (Doug Riley, Kim Deschamps, Colin Linden, Natalie McMaster, Michael Pickett, Doug Romanow, Tim Bovaconti, Ray Montford and Mike Francis, among many stellar names). Indeed, with so many influences swirling around inside him and on this record, the one difficulty Vito might encounter is finding a niche to call his own, or at least that other people could call his. He's a lot New Country, and of all the influences he cites there's little argument here that Jim Cuddy and Blue Rodeo is the strongest. Moreover, even with all the slick production, magnificent talent and clever arrangement, Alvaro also pierces through the candy coating with substantial things to say about love and regret. This album proves that Vito Alvaro has great musical taste, a passionate soul, and an intelligent and reflective nature.