“Human part 2 : Invoking Antonio” continues to define DAV!D&CLARA’s ambition, and the search for DAV!D’s predominating innerself, which has contrasting variations. This in turn, gives him a much needed edge in creating evolving perspectives of who he really is…or who we think he is. Apparent to all – from the outside, he is the voice, she is the machine. A duo consisting of singer, songwriter, producer, Antonio David Castillo, and his computer CLARA.
Moving from a Nine Inch Nails industrial rock-based sound towards a more alternative retro-synth based flair, Antonio David Castillo has certainly grown as an artist. But if there is one thing that hasn’t changed over the years it’s his knack for being incredibly ambitious (even pretentious at times), and his latest album, “Human part 2 : Invoking Antonio”, is no exception.
With the 12-track content being presented to us, it becomes clear that DAV!D&CLARA turned up the ambition dial to eleven and was planning to go all out on this new project. DAV!D was doing more than just creating another album, he was preparing the audience for an epic showdown – between himself and his alter-ego, Antonio – that would be regarded as his greatest accomplishment to date.
While the overall sonics of the album sticks to DAV!D&CLARA’s tried and tested synth-driven template, the result is a heavier, crunchier, and more melodic sounding record. Practically every aspect of DAV!D&CLARA’s musicianship, from the clean cut production, the visceral synth sounds, to his vocal performance, has improved greatly. The opening track, “Don’t Fight Your Love”, is quite possibly the best example as all of these improvements put into focus. What arises are memorable synth riffs, infectious lyrics, and deep atmospheric vocals to provide the song’s brooding melody.
In the meantime, songs like “O/A/S/!i/S/” and “A/F/F/E\C\T\!i\O\N” offers the record’s catchier side with intense bass and plucked guitar-like motifs, while “A/N/T\O\!i\O\” and “99.3” delivers the album’s melodic side, which in turn gives a much needed break in the record’s overall pace. The artier moments of “NAH” and “/H/U/M/A/N/”, use reverb and vocoder effects to highly-impacting degrees, creating powerful auras and nuances alongside DAV!D’s ever-yearning voice.
However, what ultimately sells “Human part 2 : Invoking Antonio” is the amount of variety that is represented in each and every track. Most, if not all the of songs are practically their own character. “E/V/E/RY\T\H\!\N\G\” could possibly be the best songwriting, and best performance DAV!D&CLARA has ever executed. It’s musically and vocally more expansive than what’s come before from this unusual duo.
“Wicked Desire” comes a close second to the previous song, as DAV!D&CLARA seem to continue to push themselves outside of their usual comfort zone. The “/R/I/P/P/L/E/” takes us to well-known territory from the duo, as DAV!D teases us with his overdriven considerations: “I want it my way, I want you naked honey. I love the taste, the feel, the ripple. I want to hear you moanin’ my name, oxytocin in the brain, overdrive, I want you all over me, hands on my thick thighs, got that magic all night.”
DAV!D utilizes his vocal strengths on this album, pushing through the growling instrumentals with his constantly pleasing blend of smooth bass and mighty tenors and whispery yearning. On top of this, DAV!D&CLARA mix of light vocal effects, distortion, and harmonizing allows his vocals to seamlessly float within his work whenever they’re at use.
What remains are the concluding interludes, “(Y/O/U///A/R/E/) EVERYTHING” and “Hey, Cowboy!”, both of which intertwine with a dynamic mix of wonky synth growls, orchestrated arrangements, and marked rhythms. The latter song delivers a powerful and fulfilling conclusion, as DAV!D sings: “I’m all the right stuff, and baby you know it. It’s addictive, tan jodidamente dulce…”
Lyrically, this album is as personal as it is outspoken, while DAV!D’s thoughts are as implicit as they are explicit. In the end DAV!D&CLARA’s ambition manages to pay off. Thanks to the fantastic performances and technical skills behind the studio, “Human part 2 : Invoking Antonio” succeeds in becoming the best DAV!D&CLARA record since their debut album, and will certainly satisfy their fanbase.