By Los Lobos
Before I start, let me just say that, aside from scoring the Robert Rodriguez movie Desperado, I know very little of Los Lobos. This helped immensely when it came to giving the album its first listen, as the impression I had of the band was that of ultra fast, intricate mariachi style guitar, blaring horns and other such staples of the Chicano genre. Whilst this came true in part, I was pleasantly surprised to find a much more rock and roll vibe to opening track 'Burn it Down.' This sat at odds with 'Yo Cannto' a riotous, Latin flavoured stomper, which coupled with the more laid back approach to the title track and follow up 'Jupiter or the Moon' makes for one of the most engaging listening experiences of recent times.
The fact that the band have been playing and writing songs together for over 30 years certainly shows throughout the album, with their ability to throw several genres into the pot and come out with a coherent yet unpredictable collection of songs their strongest asset, that and being blessed with impeccable timing so as to make a Latin-Jazz-Rock freakout seem planned to perfection and off the cuff at the same time. That said it is a challenging listen for anyone but fans of the genre, its inaccessibility being about the album's only weakness.