David Ramirez Album Review
My Love Is a Hurricane (Thirty Tigers)
By Doug Freeman, Fri., July 17, 2020
David Ramirez hits his stride with LP five. 2017's We're Not Going Anywhere elevated the molten songwriter beyond the exceptional but often solipsistic troubadourisms of his early career, expanding into an unexpectedly Eighties-tinged rock. His core lyricism expanded as well, drawing personal pathos into a broader social moment. Hurricane returns Ramirez to his best subject – himself – and it does so by balancing his anxieties and angst against the world. Arcing through a fevered new love and subsequent unwinding relationship, Ramirez still flings about as a man desperately looking for something to cling to outside of himself, but Hurricane disperses an ultimately triumphant belief in love, even as it dissolves. Side A broils through passion's ecstasies and agonies, the opening "Lover, Will You Lead Me" crackling with an atmospheric current that portends a darker turmoil of letting go in the cathartic, R&B-waved "Hell" and capitulation of "I Wanna Live in Your Bedroom." Jason Burt's production again sets Ramirez in new territory, swooning and swelling to match the balladeer's own vocal pendulum from understated Matt Berninger brood to emphatic Nathaniel Rateliff growl. The B-side settles with the lighter rush of "Heaven" and feel of early-Seventies Neil Young ("Shine on Me"), moody yet reflective. "Coast to Coast" and "Prevail!" close the cycle optimistically with a highway call and almost prayerful, droning final number. My Love Is A Hurricane ransacks David Ramirez to emerge bloody but unbowed.