Mike Madriaga 9:30 a.m., May 25
1) There Goes My Baby
2) Black Mountain Road
3) You'd Be Surprised
4) El Cajon
5) Penny Cup
6) Sour Cream and Chives
7) They're All Busy Now
8) If I Could
10) You'd Be Surprised (acoustic)
Terry Matsuoka hits high, soulful notes on seduction songs, and his lyrics are crunchy-beautiful. From "There Goes My Baby," Matsuoka croons the lines, "She's got my thoughts in knots/ my heart in combat gear. She's got automatic machine gun talk/ She's got a pair of angry ears."
On Totally Rad, Matsuoka's lyrics give a nod to buses from UTC and surfing at the beaches, and a gritty ballad to the city of El Cajon growls with heavy-fuzz electric guitar. Musically, there's beatbox and rapping along with surf chords and beach-rhythm bongos -- every flavor of Southern California.
On this album -- his second -- Matsuoka seems hesitant of his talent and has no need to be. If Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson can break the national scene with similar, less-inspired music, then Matsuoka can build some confidence in his vocals and do the same, or better.
--- Hometown CD Review 9-6-07