known mostly for his infamous first single, craving something beautiful, (or, \"the \'smoking pot and watching cartoons\' song\"), which appeared on cortez\'s first full-length studio album, it was clear from the get-go that richard cortez was not your average recording artist. the record, appropriately entitled \"craving something beautiful,\" started appearing for sale online and in small gay retail shops in the summer of \'05, and has become somewhat of a gay folk cult classic. lyrically raw and uncensored, the album showcases the voice of a heartbroken but determined cortez striving to find meaning in the crowded streets of new york city as he leaves the only love hes ever known. from its catchy title track to the intricate string arrangements written by cortez himself, craving something beautiful was a major success and helped put both richard cortez and wollenberg records on the map.
the follow is a review written by Bill Russell (writer of the broadway musicals pageant, sideshow, and elegies for angels, punks and raging queens) after recieving a copy of \"craving something beautiful\"
\"Richard Cortez gives me hope for the future. Not easy to come by in these - the Great Dark Ages of the Christian Right, Dubya and all the others who wish gay people would just go away.
Well, we\'re not - not with voices like Richard\'s to tell our stories, sing our songs and express our feelings.
Which is not to say, by any means, that Mr. Cortez\' impressive debut c.d. will only appeal to a gay audience. This is superb song-writing, singing and musicianship that should grab anyone who has ever had or aspired to a relationship or simply likes to kick back and listen to a compelling new voice.
The songs, which echo Dylan and Joni Mitchell while standing perfectly well on their own (no small feat!), do focus mostly on the difficulty of connecting. But never in a generic way. Each evokes a specific circumstance, inspired by a specific person (or so I imagine). And though many concern heartbreak, they often do so with quirky and amusing imagery carried along by catchy tunes that are accessible without falling into cliché.
There is one overtly political cut called \"Of Thee I Sing\" and it\'s good to know Mr. Cortez\' concerns (and hopefully the generation he represents) aren\'t only limited to the personal.
The personal is political, of course, and that comes through loud and clear simply by the fact that these are the musings of a gay artist (not that he hits you over the head with it). Everything from the cover art to the lyrics evokes the feeling these were inspired by trying to work it out with other guys (though it\'s perfectly possible for straight fans to change some pronouns or just imagine these were written about their relationships, just like gay people have done for years and years with hetero love songs.)
Could this accomplished c.d. herald a return to the excitement and elevated consciousness of the best of the 60\'s musical revolution? I hope so.
In the meantime, move over, Rufus. There\'s an important new singer/songwriter in Gaytown.\"