The album, “CONFESSIONS OF THE MACHINE” was initially expected to be released in 2020, but DAV!D (David Castillo) and his computer CLARA, better known as DAV!D&CLARA, were clearly anxious to unpack and unfold thoughts, emotions and experiences harboring deep in their mindset. There are so many great songs, with such a fluid cohesion, that listening to the album in its entirety is almost mandatory. The instrumentals are some of the best that DAV!D&CLARA have ever put out. Highly layered, experimental and so very important as a record that isn’t afraid to sound thoroughly diverse from its contemporaries. This is DAV!D&CLARA’s opus for sure. Additionally, David Castillo’s vocals are splendidly executed and mixed. Again, without wanting to sound over-hyped, this is the best work he has done in this department as well.
The album is filled with highly engrossing textures and melodic pieces that are often times absolutely entrancing, and transition very smoothly from one to the next. “CONFESSIONS OF THE MACHINE” has a very cinematic quality to it, even in the context of DAV!D&CLARA’s own discography, the narratives here are very powerful indeed.
Lyrically, the album is just as stellar as one would expect. DAV!D incorporates an extraordinary amount of personal narratives to describe the subjects throughout the album. Listeners will vanish into the expansiveness “CONFESSIONS OF THE MACHINE” provides.
The album is filled to the brim with songs that work exceptionally together. The enticing music and empirical tone of each track provides a unique experience. From the moment the album opens with the lead single, “Repair”, each subsequent song establishes a mood for the listener to grip and sink into.
“Out By The Shore”, “Button”, and Ain’t My Fault” lead us on a cerebral exploration with such precision and passion that each individual song shows it’s importance in the album’s grand scheme. They also demonstrate the tonal shifts DAV!D&CLARA took into creating such moments.
“The Latest Bloom” employs austere classical overtones, as DAV!D&CLARA alternates between quieter string riffs and defining industrial synths in a way that really does surprise the ear throughout the album. Listen to “Child of Light” for the eloquence of the former, and then “High On Life” for the abrasiveness of the latter.
Along the way you’ll bump into casual playful-sounding pleasantries like “The Lucky One”, while “Head In My Hands” embraces the experience of self-examination as Castillo sings: “I’m not broken or worthless, I just need some help. Help me pick up my broken pieces of who I am, help me become whole again.”
Self-scrutiny and soul-searching is a practice David Castillo is not averse to. “Confidence” is yet another example of his personal inquiry: “Looking in a mirror, repairing. I enjoy breaking you to make you stronger. Making you the best.” There are so many defining musical details and lyrics on this album, it is hard to keep up with DAV!D&CLARA. But it’s a successful recording because it expresses its feelings in a multifaceted and relatable way.
What’s surprising is how much of a punch is packed into this recording; when listened to up close you get absorbed in the subtle sonic twists and turns on songs like “Jump”, “Agape” and “Pop My Clutch”, and when it is blasting on your stereo with “Dreaming of LA”, DAV!D&CLARA, forces your head to bang, and you to sing along: “Come on haters, come on lovers. Give me your best.”
This is truly an album both casual and devout fans will enjoy. It is a creative statement by an artist following his muse, while breaking free from the norms of time. This is an album meant to be listened to, digested, and then reassessed through all its tonal shades, subject to the mercurial shifts that DAV!D&CLARA experience in life.