You may not know LA-based Magnetico, but you might know it's principal player, Rafael Moreira. If you're somewhat of a TV junkie and dig music informed shows such as Rock Star: INXS, MTV'S Rock the Cradle, The American Music Awards, The 2009 ESPY Awards (ESPN), BBC Top of the Pops, Saturday Night Live, or The Tonight Show, to name only a few on his immense resume, then you will probably know Rafael Moreira.
Now celebrity and hobnobbing with celebrities hardly impresses me, but Moreira is an accomplished guitar player, vocalist, and composer in his own right. When not doing some high profile television gig or touring with some celebrity, Moreira expresses himself in his solo project Magnetico, and the debut release Songs About the World.
Apparent from the outset are two things. First, Moreira and Magnetico have a singular finger on the pulse of modern rock trends. But, and secondly, Moreira's guitar work, and Songs About the World in general, evoke a real old school flavor. On the former, an emphasis on riffage and an often heavier sound are deliberate throughout. Yet, Mr. Moreira's sound melodic sensibility and old school fret technique make this disc accessible to the new school and veterans like myself. A large portion of modern rock over the last ten years doesn't really get this. Moreira does, and we're better for it.
Conversely, and not to slight his crew, Songs About the World is all about Rafael Moreira. If anything grips you here it's certainly the level of his talent. Moreira ia quite possibly one of the best modern rock guitarists alive. Pick a song and you'll see what I mean. Fundamentally, what stands out is Moreira and his performance. Consequently, though many are quite good, I can't put my finger on a single song that stands out or above Moreira's playing. Nevertheless, if I had to pick, I'd probably opt for Avalanche, Soldiers of God, and the ever popular Santa Claus Is a Lie only because they have solid metal edge.
In the end Songs About the World from Rafael Moreira's Magnetico project is simply a fine exercise and expression of his impressive musical skills. The song composition is sound, and his performance strong and abundantly present. The latter makes the album; the former is merely entertaining musical sophistry to advance the latter.