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These Ghosts Have Bones

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Album Review

Fastball were hardly the best of the one-hit wonder alt-rock acts to skitter across the radar in the 1990s, but they were inarguably better than most of their peers; that said, what is anyone supposed to expect from the first solo album from Fastball's guitarist? Probably not quite what they get from Miles Zuniga's These Ghosts Have Bones, a collection of 11 Beatlesque pop tunes that chronicle a relationship that's clearly crashed and burned. The liner notes describe These Ghosts Have Bones as "a record/therapy session by Miles Zuniga," and it was written and recorded in the wake of a messy divorce; while the material is tuneful and lively enough that this doesn't sound like a weepy meditation on lost love, the lyrical focus of these songs is pretty hard to avoid, and if Zuniga isn't crying, he has good reason not to sound happy as he senses his spouse's infidelity on "Feel It in Your Kiss," tries to decide what to do with himself on "Elizabeth," and struggles to fool himself and others on "You Can't Break My Heart." While Tony Scalzo sang the bulk of Fastball's hits, Zuniga's voice has an agreeable regular-guy tone (with the slightest vocal resemblance to John Lennon) that suits the theme and approach of this album very well, and he's got an impressive way with a melody, giving these tunes a buoyant and intelligent pop sound that softens the blow of the more cynical material. Bassist Bruce Hughes and drummer John Chipman fill out the songs with admirable color and restraint, and Zuniga's production is crisp and effective, aided by the warm, clean tone of Bob Clearmountain's mix. Zuniga is hardly the first musician to wrench an album's worth of material from a broken heart, but These Ghosts Have Bones manages to sound entirely honest about the hurt brought on by a busted marriage while coupling his lyrics to killer pop melodies, and the mingled joy and sadness of this album only makes the emotional impact on both sides more effective. These Ghosts Have Bones is a splendid solo debut for Zuniga, though hopefully he won't have to go through another divorce in order to come up with a suitable follow up.


Born: 10 September 1966 in Laredo, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist, songwriter, and singer Miles Zuniga enjoyed a fling with fame in the 1990s as a member of the band Fastball before dividing his time between several bands and a solo career. Zuniga was born in Laredo, Texas on September 10, 1966. Years later, he relocated to Austin, Texas in hopes of making a name for himself on the city's music scene, and for several years he played in a variety of bands, including a combo called Big Car. In 1994, Zuniga and Big Car drummer Joe Shuffield launched a new...
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These Ghosts Have Bones, Miles Zuniga
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