Chicago’s alternative scene is arguably one of the best in the world, and with a recent wave of Lo-Fi garage bands making it big such as Twin Peaks, NE-HI, and Post Animal; the inspiration to join the music scene is at an all-time high. Dan Rico, one of those aspiring Chicago musicians, is equal parts Indie, Pop, Soul, Punk, and pretty much anything else you could think of. For now, he’s just another musician with dreams, but with the release of Endless Love, Rico has shown his interest in becoming something bigger.
Endless Love starts out with “Soft Feeling”, an upbeat song that is both fun and flirtatious. The cohesive nature of the backing guitars overlaid with Rico’s voice gives a soulfully grunge taste to the music. With lyrics recapping a romantic juncture, this is song is the pure essence of being in love. Following that, Rico’s music is amped up even more as “Endless Love” begins. Rico’s musical sensibility carries out an impressive bout in the form of a guitar solo, something rarely seen in mainstream music today, but a well revered effort nonetheless.
While only standing at 1:45 long, “Kinda Wanna” packs a punch in the limited time it has. Fast paced drums paired with aggressive guitar riffs gives a great punk undertone to the music. Followed by “On A Tear”, which dials the tone back a bit, these two tracks work great together. Rico’s raw voice hits the high notes on his chorus, showing off his exceptional talent to work both sides of the spectrum.
For a couple of songs after this, Rico’s music fades down, forming a lax interlude in the middle of the album. This section of songs gives Rico’s music a much more sensual mood than ever before, “Don’t Look Back”, is especially true to this. A soft tambour intertwined with melodic guitars produce affectionate feelings, and showcase a more tender side of Rico.
“Wasted Youth” takes a break from the romantic themes of the album, acting as the classic ‘teenage rebellion song’. The fast paced punk undertones give off a commanding sense of energy, while still keepings Rico’s relaxed tones found throughout the rest of Endless Love.
It’s not until much later in the album, on “Dangerous”, do you realize Rico’s full potential. The high pitched guitar sends different signals than we’ve heard from the rest of the album, all the while Rico is laying his heart out as he sings. With catchy, love-filled lyrics, “Dangerous” is a fun track, notably the best on Endless Love.
After a while, many of the tracks start to blend together, and one can only make it so far by switching off from indie soul and punk vibes; Rico realizes this and in turn comes out with “After All”. It’s a psychedelic slow jam that is incredibly different from everything else that Rico has made, giving a great end to the opus.
Endless Love is not an album, it’s a love letter. There isn’t much more behind the lyrics than what meets the eye, but there’s no need for it because in every song Rico lays his emotions flat out on the table. For some of the first works of the artist, Endless Love is a surprisingly satisfying piece. Dan Rico is just hitting the scene now, but if the rest of his work is as good as Endless Love, there is no doubt he will make it big.