Static Noise, the anticipated follow up to this debut effort, Ultra was heavily inspired by Brian Lopez’s time on the road, collaborating with a variety of artists including Howie Gelb and KT Tunstall. But the material on the album is also inspired by a desire to focus his material on direct, old-school rock ‘n’ roll in comparison to Ultra, which was really eclectic. “Mercury in Retrograde,” the first single off Lopez’s forthcoming sophomore effort manages to evoke an introspective feel that comes from a life on the road – in particular, there’s an instant sense of endless highways, hotel rooms and couches and late nights. But it also reveals a quiet and haunting beauty  at its bridge and coda. 

What I find compelling about the song is that it manages to be a well-written, carefully crafted rock song with a pop sensibility – and it does so in a very smart, deliberate fashion.