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    Articles Home » Music Reviews » Cristian Machado 'Hollywood Y Sycamore' Album Review By Nina McCarthy
    Cristian Machado 'Hollywood Y Sycamore' Album Review By Nina McCarthy

    Cristian Machado

    Hollywood Y Sycamore

    Coconut Bay/Chesky

    September 25, 2020

    Album Review By Nina McCarthy

    Boston Rock Radio

     

     

     

    Just as a snake sheds its skin to allow for further growth, former ILL NIÑO singer Cristian Machado has shed his guttural screams and screeching guitars to show us his other creative layer and express his eclectic Latin influences with the release of his debut solo album, Hollywood Y Sycamore via Chesky Records.

     

    If you ONLY like it hard and heavy, this isn’t for you. But admit it, even the toughest-skinned among us have a soft side, just as Machado only hinted to while with ILL NIÑO. If you’re open minded, enjoy some relaxing acoustic songs, like Latin music, or a fan of Machado regardless of what he does, give this album a listen.

     

    Recorded in California and New York, the LP’s title was inspired by a corner in Hollywood where Hollywood Y Sycamore came to life. It’s the section in Hollywood where Machado found himself driving to several times per week while recording the album.  Hollywood Y Sycamore includes completely new original songs, new arrangements of some previous ILL NIÑO songs (my personal favorite "How Can I Live" and "Numb"), and covers from PINK FLOYD ("Welcome To The Machine"), LIFE OF AGONY ("Weeds"), and a spell-binding take on Post Malone's "Blame It On Me." I actually found myself continuously going back and repeating songs purely because they were just so beautifully done.

     

    The featured single "'Die Alone' is a song of hope for anyone faced with unimaginable challenges," Machado says.​ "Out of all suffering can evolve monolithic personal growth,​ and I seek comfort in that. If we let go of the painful past, we don't become the suffering. Shedding skin is sometimes the hardest part but it is why we're here —​ to love, to hurt, to feel, to adapt, and, most importantly,​ to evolve and not make the same mistakes we made in the past." Machado, who completely self wrote all the songs (except the covers obviously) says he played bass and sang, and while most of the songs were written on acoustic guitar, the end result was usually a more “metallic” sound. The combined elements of live recording with the added impact layering take you on a tranquilizing musical exploration. The bilingual touch on several tracks exudes the sensuality of Latin love, which is a side many haven’t seen of Machado.  *goosebumps*

     

    My recommendation would be to pour yourself a glass of wine, light some candles, smoke some weed (if you partake), put this album on, and slither into the tub to slough off that calloused outer layer. This album definitely shines a very bright light on the future so you will come out of that tub refreshed and ready to bite back. 

     

    Hollywood Y Sycamore out now on all platforms 👉 hyperurl.co/858c7f

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