Some albums are beautiful little gems, every facet glimmering with dazzling light; the lyrics shine, and the music shimmers. Horizon Line, Dan Navarro’s first album since 2019’s Shed My Skin,is one of those albums. Navarro writes, sings, and plays with such emotional intensity that every track moves us physically and emotionally.
The album opens with the soulful “She Dreams in Music,” with sonic echoes of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Doug Pettibone’s electric 12-string guitar rhythms swirl over Carlos Murguía’s soaring B3 chords, laying down a rich bed for Navarro’s moving vocals. The music itself evokes the rich contentment the singer feels.
“Come and Find Me” is another soul stirrer that sounds as if it came straight out of the catalog of William Bell and Stax. Pettibone’s just-right lead runs on the instrumental bridge weave effortlessly into Murguía’s strains of B3, with Murguía and Leyla Hoyle providing ethereal background vocals. The swirling minor chord “Rose in the Window” unfurls cinematically with spacious instrumentation as it captures the ways we search for connections with each other, while the funky folk of “Tar Pit” evokes the feelings of connections gone bad. In “Tar Pit” what looks good from a distance might indeed mask danger — like the La Brea tar pits in LA. Cascading guitar strums open the title track and blossom into Steve Postell’s Mark Knopfler-like lead runs as the song moves briskly to mimic travel down the road looking forward to the promise of what’s ahead.
Horizon Line overflows with soul. These songs reverberate in our souls long after the album is finished, and every song glimmers with an organic sonic beauty. Horizon Line is one of the best albums of the year so far.