Thursday, September 11, 2008

Classic fourteen - Hearing Los Lobos


COLOSSAL Head, the 1996 album by American-Mexican rockers Los Lobos, barely tickled the charts this side of the pond.
And the album, which was a return after a four-year hiatus for the LA-based group, whose name means The Wolves, is regarded by fans of the band as one of their weakest releases in their 30-year history.
However I think Colossal Head really should be bigger.
Mixing Spanglish vocals over a funkier brand of Latino rock than on other Los Lobos albums, the songs here are inventive and intelligent, without being overly weighed down by the blues of the group's standard social commentary schtick.
While Everybody Loves A Train and Mas Y Mas are driving stompers, others like Revolution and Can't Stop The Rain have a understated quirky appeal.
Although you can play spot the influence here - jazz, funk, avant-garde, roots rock, R&B, Latin, blues, country and traditional Mexican - the overall output is far greater than the sum of its disparate parts and deserves to be more than a footnote in the band's history.
I'd go on, but I'd give them a big head.

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