Diego García FTW

By: José Manuel Simián

If Julio Iglesias and Bryan Ferry made a record together, it would probably sound like Diego García's Paradise.

We're talking about the cool, pre-tux, pre-tanning-bed Julio Iglesias, of course. The guy who would make your mom swoon and make you secretly wish you were more like him.

 Just a recap in case you don’t know García: he was born in Detroit to Argentine parents, led the NYC rock outfit Elefant in the early aughts, and then surprised everybody by releasing the ballad-and-strings-oriented album Laura in 2011.

We loved Laura, but we love Paradise even more. If the first album was a cycle of songs devoted to lost love, this time around he is celebrating romantic bliss, and the music and lyrics are even more compelling. What’s more: in Paradise, García has concocted a brilliant tribute to the golden era of Spanish and Latin American troubadours of the ’70s and ’80s—from Iglesias to Leonardo Favio and Piero—processed through the prism of indie rock.

From the flamenco guitars and bongos of set opener “Start with the End” to the Spanish-sung chorus of “Dónde Estás” to the hushed vocals of “Truth Will Ring” and beyond, García turns the sounds we grew up with into relevant music for our times. More importantly, he convincingly puts the love song back to where it should belong: among our coolest cultural possessions. 

Make Paradise one of the albums you listen to this fall. Your life will be better because of it.

José Manuel Simián is the Executive Editor of Manero. He used to be a lawyer and is probably listening to Bob Dylan as you read this.