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Echo and Buzz Reviews Baladista

Joel Rafael - Baldista by Brendan Orta

Joel Rafael has led a storied life, his new album Baladista paints the picture. Tales of lost loves and ubiquitous hardships that come with living. Many of the songs deal with a woman leaving, about to leave, or is already gone. 'She Had to Go' hits particularly close to home, with how 'She' never comes to see our protagonist play any longer, and is a reminder of what we lose when someone vanishes from our lives. Rafael sings of regret, of being the fool, and the lessons of how to appreciate something before it's gone. As his second song states, "Love's first lesson is a broken heart." Regret and misfortune are an element of his theme, appearing again in 'Old Portland Town', where a woman pays the bail for her man. Baladista's songs offer the message that while love can lead to such sweet memories, it is also a trial and a test. Accompanied with smooth guitar playing and harmonica, Baladista pulls at the heartstrings just as easily as Rafael plucks his six-string.

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