Fantasy/Concord Music Group [Release date 20.01.17]
Despite this being Alejandro Escovedo’s twelfth studio album I had not heard of him before, something I am glad has been rectified as this a wonderful album and has me wanting to explore his back catalogue. The album is produced by Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5), who are joined by guitarist Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks), drummer John Moen (Decembertists), saxophonist Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and singers Corin Tucker and Kelly Hogan.
Musically it reminded me of Hold Steady/Neil Young on the upbeat rock of ‘Heartbeat Smile’. The backing vocals of Kelly Hogan and Corin Tucker really add to the song and their contribution throughout the album adds to the overall sound greatly. ‘Horizontal’ fair blasts you away with its loud guitar with a distorted guitar solo Neil Young would love. You can hear the influence of R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on this one.
Whiff of 70′s rock and T.Rex on the riff-tastic ‘Shave The Cat’, a radio hit if only daytime radio would open their ears and playlists. ‘I Don’t Want To Play Guitar Anymore’ has Alenjandro in reflective mode, looking back on his life and why he may not want to play guitar as there are no more stories left to say. Hopefully not as he has found a good partnership here with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey.
Highly recommended and an album that stays with the listener long after you finishing listening to it, not just melody wise but also the lyrics and song themes. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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