Diego Garcia, "Laura"

Possessing a melodic pop sensibility with a nostalgic nod to romantic ballads of the '60s and '70s, former Elefant frontman Diego Garcia emerges with a stellar solo debut that's familiar in theme. The haunting "Laura" tugs at the sentiment of lost love; not knowing much about the central figure is irrelevant and captivating at the same time. Smooth harmonies and sweet Spanish guitars provide layers and a steady, cohesive pace that connect the nine tracks poetically. The collection of music here works well mostly because the artist gives the listener an insight to his story, often tragic and understandable. At times the compositions take on chilling undertones, like the title track, which questions her departure: "Do you still think of me, or must you still think of me when he whispers I love you in your ear?" Other songs-like "Inside My Heart," "You Were Never There" and "Stay" -make the artist's genuine intentions very clear.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print