Record Reviews

Jay Gonzalez: Back to the Hive Review

(Middlebrow Records) A sunny, breezy time capsule of power pop and AM gold, Jay Gonzalez’s second full-length album, Back to the Hive, builds upon the legacy of ‘60s British Invasion artists and ‘70s singer-songwriters without ever sounding derivative. Though his style is more heavily influenced by artists from across the pond, Gonzalez—who joined The Drive-By Truckers in 2008 as a keyboardist and guitarist—occasionally incorporates tinges of Southern rock here and there, most notably the use of pedal steel on “(I Wanna) Hold You” and “Deep Sea Diver.” Interesting instrumental arrangements include the mysterious, organ-buoyed surf song “Loons on the Lake” and the gentle piano and acoustic guitar-driven “Rosa.” Despite the album’s exuberant disposition, there’s a wide emotional range present throughout, spanning from the bouncing “Trampoline” to the tender “Crying Through the Wall,” a tribute to the late Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. Gonzalez will perform two outdoor concerts with a “California Dreaming”-themed set at Liberty Field on Mar. 27. Visit for details.