Review: Diego Garcia, ‘Laura’

Review: Diego Garcia, ‘Laura’: Aidin Vaziri | Diego Garcia, the man Spin magazine once described as the Julio Iglesias of indie rock, was nearly famous with his New York band Elefant. But their sleek, unabashedly romantic take on the Strokes’ sound never found the audience it deserved. On his first solo release, the impossibly handsome singer, born to Argentine parents in Detroit, finds a more suitable setting for his brooding songs. Drawing on his Latin background, the album is resplendent in fluttering Spanish guitars and dramatic strings. Garcia, who plays Thursday at Hotel Utah, goes into full crooner mode on tracks such as “You Were Never There” and “All Eyes on You,” tracing the romantic ups and downs that led to his marriage with the record’s namesake, Laura. They live in a lush apartment on the Upper East Side with a baby girl now, but you would never tell from the heartbroken lyrics that fill the album. On “Nothing to Hide,” Garcia is practically on his knees when he belts out the chorus, “In my heart/ I got nothing to hide.” Despite the persistent risk of schmaltz (he straddles the line nimbly), “Laura” makes a lovely companion piece to Elefant’s lost classic, “Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid.” It feeds off the same insecurities and inspiration, but now under the magnifying glass that comes with age.

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