Review:: Savannah | Nick Santino

Nick Santino proves to be an elegant storyteller as he walks the fine line between cheesy and complex lyrics in his new EP Savannah.  The former lead singer of A Rocket to the Moon stays true to his roots of providing heartfelt vocals with a bit of a bluesy twang.  While Santino’s last album, Big Skies, has a more country-pop sound to it with quirky lyrics and upbeat melodies, he takes a different approach in his new EP.  The lyrics still hold the elements of love, but the tracks are more personal, slower, and mellower accompanied by sweet acoustics and piano music.  

Savannah is like a short story. It features six songs that each tell a chapter about a love that bloomed, then died, the nostalgia, and letting go. The melody remains constant throughout the EP, but the small variances in the acoustics carry you into the next song. You would think it be repetitive, but instead the unbroken-like melody creates a romantic flow through the EP.  Santino doesn’t hide behind flowery lyrics. He draws from his own experiences making sure every word counts and holds special meaning.

“Rio” starts the EP on a happier note leaving you in a dreamy state of wondering what it’s like to jet off to Mexico.  It’s a love song that leaves you swaying to the charming acoustics. The love affair continues with “Madeline” as Santino croons about a girl you wish you could be. The song resembles something more like a French lullaby but keeping the focus on the lyrics.

The story takes a dark turn in “How to live With a Ghost” when the relationship comes to an end. The lyrics are some of most honest lyrics you’ll hear about lost love and lingering emotions. Santino sings about coping with his heartbreak in this melancholic tune to paint a haunting picture of love. Whether you want to take the lyrics literally or metaphorically, it’s impeccable how Santino delivers the emotions behind the song in such a lucid way.

“That Old Corolla” resonates with an old-fashioned country song throwing back to the old days of drinking beers and riding around town without a care. It’s nostalgic and hints at the undertones of growing up. The title track “Savannah” closes the EP with a gloomy peace. It’s about a man who’s come to terms with the end of a relationship and letting go with bitter lyrics.  It’s a perfect way to the end the album as it leaves you with hope, closure, and end to another short story in a life.  

Savannah is raw, poetic, and enchanting. Nick Santino shows us that even the simplest and clearest of messages can bring out the beauty in music. It’s a different approach from what we heard in Big Skies and his days with A Rocket to the Moon. Only Nick Santino can tailor such a simple story with intricate lyrics, romantic vocals, and bluesy acoustics. 

Release Date: December 19th, 2014
Rating: 4/5
Run time: ~22 minutes
Check out: Madeline, How to Live With a Ghost

Track listing:
1. Rio
2. Madeline
3. I Just Wanted You to Know
4. How to Live With a Ghost
5. That Old Corolla
6. Savannah

Written by: Zarrin Alam

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