Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Los Lobos - Kiko 20th Anniversary Edition (Shout Factory, 2012)

This was one of my favorite albums from my college years, so it was with a degree of nostalgia that I picked up this newly remastered edition. Los Lobos is a long standing rock and roll band from Los Angeles, blending Latino influenced music with rootsy rock. By the time Kiko came out originally, the band had been recording for over a decade and had been developing a signature sound and it climaxed here in one of the band’s high points. The social activism and the care and compassion that they showed the less fortunate comes through in the finely wrought songwriting on tracks like "Angels with Dirty Faces" and “Whiskey Trail.” The linear flow of the album and the arrangement of the music develops beautifully from the delicate acoustic music of “Saint Behind the Glass” and the haunting “Two Janes” to the blasting rock and roll of “That Train Don’t Stop Here” and “Short Side of Nothing.” The extra tracks tacked on at the end of the end of the album aren’t really that substantial, a demo recording and some live tracks from a holiday special, but they don’t detract from the original album which still holds up after 20 years as a beautiful set of music.Kiko: 20th Anniversary Edition -

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