Engaging melodies, immediate vocals and smart-yet-unpretentious lyrics populate John Hoskinson's second solo effort, Pancho Fantastico.
In Pancho Fantastico, Hoskinson offers a collection of straight-ahead pop anthems, toe-tapping tongue-in-cheek gems and breathtaking college radio ballads. Hoskinson infuses his traditional pop style with an occasional taste of alt-country angst, bossa nova swagger and vaudeville vamp, which adds to the flavor of this solid release.
An introspective and playful pop record, Pancho Fantastico evokes and honors singer/songwriters ranging from Brian Wilson to Paul Westerberg. Deceptively sweet harmonies and catchy rock rhythms draw you in while Hoskinson delivers intimate, honest and often self-effacing chapters from his colorful life.
Hoskinson gathers listeners around a virtual campfire, regaling us with tales of unlikely love, mild contempt and frictional co-existence. Moving easily between utter sincerity and good-natured sarcasm, Hoskinson has the voice of a one-time choirboy and the vocabulary of a social commentator. These are songs that can accompany you through everyday life, offering up the highs and lows with the truth and humor of a great friend.
The congenial vibe of Pancho Fantastico is the result of living room sessions that included friends and players in Hoskinson's hometown of Los Angeles: Luke Adams (Pete Yorn); Brian Whelan and Dan Iead (The Broken West); Mike "Soupy" Sessa (Cracker, Rosie Flores); Eugene Edwards; Robbie Rist; Stevie Blacke (Beck, Glen Phillips); Vince Meghrouni (Mike Watt); Dan Clucas (Arthur Lee/Love); with Joe Ongie (Aimee Mann, Minnie Driver) also handling production.
Pancho Fantastico is a record that conveys revealing thoughts through beautifully fluid melodies. John Hoskinson has created a musical companion to the modern life: slightly jaded but still committed to true love.