Thursday, February 22, 2007

Los Lobos - The Town and The City (2006)

Los Lobos has always been one of the best bands of the post-classic rock era and they are one of my personal all time favorite bands from any era. The consistency of their work over their twenty-four year recording career has been astounding and their latest, The Town And The City, is another critically acclaimed batch of songs. Some reviewers even rank it alongside their universally agreed upon masterwork, Kiko. However, despite its seriousness and worthy subject matter I find The Town And The City to be one of the band's more disappointing efforts. While I like this disc, I don't grant it the exalted status that almost everyone else who writes about music has assigned to it.

The thirteen songs form a loosely based concept album about the Mexican-American experience including the travails of the ultra-controversial illegal Mexicans that are becoming more and more a part of American society. You can guess that the band is sympathetic towards their brethren but that isn't the problem here. The presentation is. The music supporting the lyrics just isn't as interesting as on almost all of their previous efforts. Most bands that adhere to the same tried and true formula over long careers tend to get stale in the process but for Los Lobos the formula works. Only "The Road To Gila Bend" fits nicely into the mold that holds their classic rocking sound. It's the album's only full bore rocker and it's easily the best song on the disc.

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