Xisco Poncé Jr.
CD Label: UE3 Records
It has finally arrived, after nearly three years of deliberation and two EPs, Xisco Poncé Jr. has completed his Suite album. It is everything I expected it would be and more. This young man is ready to take on the world. He gave up everything, sold his house, quit his job, and then moved to Los Angeles to record this album.
This version of Suite is a limited edition Digipack of 1000 signed and numbered by the artist. Xisco actually went down to the manufacturing plant to sign each CD individually, the first 100 in gold, and the rest in silver. Now that is what I call making it special for your listeners.
This entire process has brought Poncé full circle. I feel like I have been along for the ride with him. I covered his two EPs prior to this full-length album. Once again, Barry Coffing was on hand to lend his expertise with the production and the sound is nothing short of masterful. It was not only the blend of sounds that was catching my ear, this time around I noticed how Xisco's voice is beginning to mature and his command is right in line with the music every step of the way. He sounded great prior to this release; however, there is something different going on. It is as if he has reached an apex with how his voice works with the lyrics of each track. The lyrics are quite poignant as well. The message in "Little Boy" rings true now more than ever-Another year, 6,000 miles/This war of man will take awhile/Another night in deeper blue/Praying to come back to you/In violence, the killing game/Bleeding men are all the same. The track "Working Man" is about Xisco's Filipino roots, and tells a story about a boy watching his father struggle in the fields... The father who ignores his hurt/Thinks about his children first/Holding tight restraining curse/ A sacrifice to earn his worth.
These are a very powerful message with equally entrancing music to make it sink into your consciousness and hit home where the heart is. After a few listens the words really affected my entire thought process while the music just got better and better. Significantly, the album is broken into three suites, each one connected to the other making it one complete story.
The combination of stinging rock guitar, beautiful melodies, and the gorgeous backing vocals of Valerie Davis to compliment Xisco's angelic phrasing including the addition of soft acoustic guitars in just the right places, makes the overall atmosphere simply a slice of heaven. Even when the lyrics are serious and so true to life, it all sounds so beautiful-not the easiest task to accomplish by any means.
This was all very deliberate; by releasing the EPs then the complete album, it certainly let things build up for the listeners. It was worth the wait.
Note: Watch for the dance floor remixes of "Consciousness of Gravity" and "Linger On" soon.