Los Lobos

Kiko - Slash 1992

Tracks: 1. Dream in Blue / 2. Wake Up Dolores / 3. Angels With Dirty Faces / 4. That Train Don't Stop Here / 5. Kiko and the Lavender Moon / 6. Saint Behind the Glass / 7. Reva's House / 8. When the Circus Comes / 9. Arizona Skies / 10. Short Side Of Nothing / 11. Two Janes / 12. Wicked Rain / 13. Whiskey Trail / 14. Just A Man / 15. Peace / 16. Rio de Tenampa

Comments:

If there's one Los Lobos album that cannot be ignored it is undoubtedly "Kiko". You can draw parallels to the Kinks' '"Village Green Preservation Society" or the Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's." Two albums that have become classics because musical details have met in a higher unity. These three albums have several things in common. Not least the ambition to create something new. Like the Kinks and the Beatles before them, Los Lobos on this album show a great desire to explore new frontiers. The group is experimenting with new and exciting instrumentations of their songs which in genre is already wide-ranging. The instrumental passages (solos) are never too long or predictable.

Only one single track, "Angels With Dirty Faces" exceeds a four minutes playing time, otherwise, most songs have a length of just over three minutes, a fact which undoubtedly a role that you never get bored in the company of this album. There is little doubt that the group's collaboration with producer Mitchell Froom, is one important reason why this album was the one on which the group really blossomed. As he did it with Suzanne Vega's albums "99.9 F" and "Nine Objects of Desire", Froom's contribution gives the group a new exciting edge that makes the album very durable.

Of course, it is not unimportant that the songs are as good as they are - and then there are no fewer than sixteen !! Genre wise, they range far, but not such that the album loses its cohesiveness.

As usual, Cesar Rosas contributes two solid blues-rockers, "That Train Do not Stop Here" and "Wicked Rain" - both tracks fine examples of the desire to experiment with sound and structures of the guitar solos.

Otherwise, it's David Hidalgo and Louis Perez who are responsible for most of the songs. The two outstanding songwriters show great versatility, and not least a flair for the catchy and melodic. It can be difficult to emphasize some songs over others, because all numbers are in fact great.

Among the songs which specifically show new aspects of the group you could mention "Dream in Blue," "Wake Up Dolores" and "Kiko And The Lavender Moon". The immediately catchy tracks include "Reva's House" and "Short Side of Nothing". "Two Janes" shows, like other numbers before this, the group also has predilection for British folk.

Instrumental numbers may be interesting, but are often easily a little tiring. This does not apply to "Arizona Skies" which is a nice melodic piece that withstands many listens.

A great collection of songs, among which the vast majority have quality to also stand alone. Try to shuffle the songs - they will work well with each other regardless of sequence.


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