Picks and Pans Review: Just Another Band from East L.a.: a Collection
Of course we know that life is unfair. So why does it always dismay us to come face-to-face with the proof? Listening to this generous Los Lobos collection of 41 tunes on two CDs, released on the 20th anniversary of this great Mexican-American band, produces one of these rude shocks.
The Los Lobos catalog of albums is an unbroken string of musical triumphs. It would be easy to sound like a sociology grad student and mutter enthusiastically about how the band captures all the warm community and chilly uncertainty of the East Los Angeles barrio, where most of them grew up and still live, but that might take away from the power of their music to give us a good shakin' shakin' shake.
By packing together the sweet lilt of Mexican folk, the flinty snap of American country, the dark growl of American blues and the driving beat of the world's rock and roll, Los Lobos makes music that defies time and geography. If this is "just another band from East L.A.," I want to hear all the rest. Now. (Slash/Wamer Bros.)