Los Lobos: The Neighborhood

Los Lobos went for a very bluesy album on The Neighborhood. For the most part I think they bring a lot of innovation to a genre that, by definition, does not lend itself to innovation. A few times the tracks drift off into mediocrity, but there’s more awesome than yawn here. A few great songs, a bunch of good ones, but tough to listen to in one sitting due to its tendency to underwhelm at points.

Rating:
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– “I Walk Alone,” “Angel Dance,” “Deep Dark Hole,” “Georgia Slop,” “I Can’t Understand,” “Be Still”
– “Down On The Riverbed,” “Emily,” “Little John Of God,” “The Giving Tree,” “Take My Hand,” “Jenny’s Got A Pony”
– “The Neighborhood”
Filed Between: Los Lobos’ La Pistola Y El Corazón and Kiko
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Down On The Riverbed – Really not crazy about that opening drum machine sound but it gets covered up pretty quickly.
  2. Emily – Seems like it should be better than it is. Depends on my mood. Good, not great.
  3. I Walk Alone – I swear Chris Goss had something to do with this album. Sounds are amazing on this track. This is one of those where they really bring a lot to the genre.
  4. Angel Dance – Album’s best song.
  5. Little John Of God – a bit sappy, but has some merit, i think. I think I’d like this a ton, but that guest singer who does the second chorus drives me nuts. Seems like it’s Levon Helm of the band.
  6. Deep Dark Hole – A nice little groove. Promoting to full.
  7. Georgia Slop – cover of Jimmy McCracklin. so nasty.
  8. I Can’t Understand – written by Cesar J. Rojas and Willie Dixon. Very bluesy. Dirty.
  9. The Giving Tree – The rhythm in this track is really interesting. It’s in 3/4 (could be 6/8 but it feels more like 3/4 to me) with a VERY strong accent on the snare on beat two. So everything feels a little off kilter. The melody is beautiful.
  10. Take My Hand – also may be moved up to full.
  11. Jenny’s Got A Pony – upbeat rocker.
  12. Be Still – another promotable candidate. Sweetly sung by Hidalgo.
  13. The Neighborhood – I shouldn’t hate this, but something about it really rubs me the wrong way. I mean, I can tell it’s good, it’s very well done, but I don’t like it. Plus it’s like the deal where they go through the poor people and tell their story and about how hard their lives are…that’s kind of getting old at this point in their discography.
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