Album cover

Love Love Love

1) Love Love Love
2) All I Am
3) The Beauty of Your Love
4) Please Please
5) The Perfect Song
6) Can’t Live Without You
7) Lifetime Valentine
8) Good Thing
9) Who You Are to Me
10) No More Lonely Days
11) Lay It Down

A lot of music produced in San Diego drifts away from being an expression of humanity and relies on formula to be pleasing rather than evocative. Steven Ybarra’s new disc also smacks of standards instead of creativity. And while Love Love Love lyrics strive for consensus rather than confrontation, who among us would argue against “love”?

Ybarra’s unclouded devotion to a single motif (check the title for a hint) and pat phrases (thanking the Lord for love, staring into the eyes of a loved one, and hearts — oh, so many hearts) obstructs his guitar work, which is top-shelf. While his voice carries a bit of soul and sass, those qualities seem manufactured, as is the tradition of too many San Diego acts. (Jason Mraz, I’m looking in your direction.)

Even in the love-gone-wrong song “Please, Please,” Ybarra’s delivery lacks ferocity and pain; his voice tends toward the tepid and regulated. (It’s certainly not Big Joe Williams begging his woman, “Baby, Please Don’t Go.”) Ybarra’s project handles that tumultuous and dangerous emotion — love — with the most surface of treatments and the safest skillful playing.


quiwen April 23, 2008 @ 2:05 p.m.

Be sure to attend Steven Ybarra's CD Release show for his new Love Love Love CD! It will be held May 17, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the old Crest Theater in Oceanside, now the Grace Chapel of the Coast. (102 N. Freeman St. Oceanside, CA 92054.) The show kicks off on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 7:00 pm and is open to the public at no charge. Come join the fun!


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