The Los Lonely Boys have returned. In light of writer Nick Fry’s splendid review of their latest release “Revelation,” we’ve decided to team up with our partners and make sure two lucky readers get their hands on this new release.
Each winner will receive:
-Los Lonely Boys T-shirt
-Copy of the CD
*We will select and notify two winners by Monday, February 4, 2014
Los Lonely Boys return with a much anticipated album which mixes rock with some funky rhythms and Latin influences. Right from the start they kick off as they mean to go on with “Blame It on Love” which conjures up memories of Los Lobos at their best, tinged with a bit of Santana and some good old down and dirty rock and roll. For a trio they sure have a full sound which does justice to all the songs on the album.
“Give A Little More” follows with a funky underpinning, but soon expands into a fulsome expression of a range of musical influences too numerous to mention. And then just when you thought things might settle down, on comes “It’s Just My Heart” with an opening chord sequence and rhythm which is reminiscent of ska, only without the horn section. Clever lyrics and a production which has ensured that each instrument finds its proper place in the array of sounds presented only adds to the enjoyment.
In attempting, without any success I might add, to try and identify who Los Lonely Boys remind me of – the comparisons are too many to make this a fruitful exercise, it is apparent that the band has taken the bits it likes from a wide variety of sources and combined them, with seeming effortless ease, into a synthesis which sounds as natural as it is enjoyable. Each song opens up new possibility and the sharing of vocal duties between two of the Garza brothers ensures that variety is maintained throughout the album. They can even get away with an auto-tune moment on “There’s Always Tomorrow” without sounding kitsch.
Musically, the arrangements are solid and tight, something which is not a bad thing on any album. But what makes the music stand out is the ability of the guitars to move effortlessly from rhythm to lead and to provide solos which are, difficult as it sounds, cleverly executed and understated at the same time. “So Sensual” is typical of the grace of the rhythm guitar which gives the song, which sounds like what might happen if the Eagles had sung Gospel, before breaking out in a solo which sequences into a horn break which would have graced any Motown classic. And yet the band can handle a slower, acoustic launched ballad like “Familia” with consummate ease.
Each song opens up new vistas and new experiences. There might not be anything ground-breakingly new here, but this is neither blind mimicry or in danger of over-familiarity. Shuddering rockers (“Rule the World”) sit side by side with a rockabilly intro and an acoustic love song (“Dream Away”) without any contradiction. The album closes with a song which leaves you wanting more in “Everything About You”.
If rock and roll ever comes back to wider commercial prominence, Los Lonely Boys ought to have a place in that event. Never mind the odd directions which the plethora of musical options offers, Los Lonely Boys offer a return to musical values which are enduring – the need for a good melody and musicians who rely on ability rather than electronic manipulation or some highly paid producer to make their music talk. Whether or not the musical style of Los Lonely Boys is to your taste is not the point – those are musical values for which we should all have an appreciation.