Los Lobos: Gates of Gold

Album review
Los Lobos: Gates of Gold

Los Lobos

Gates of Gold

Label: 429
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop
Ratings:
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For 40 years Los Lobos has delivered American roots music steeped in everything from blues to música norteña. There’s often a lyrical theme or cohesive sound to their albums, whether it’s the autobiographical rock of their 1989 major-label debut How Will the Wolf Survive?, the Spanish-language ballads of La Pistola y El Corazon, or the dreamy Latin rhythms of their 1992 epic Kiko. Now there’s the eclecticism of Gates of Gold. The opening track, “Made to Break Your Heart,” veers from familiar mid- tempo Latin-inflected rock to a slow, snarling sonic wash in the spirit of Crazy Horse. “When We Were Free,” with its jazzy vibe, is reminiscent of the band’s mid-career work with Mitchell Froom. The wistful “There I Go” takes that experimentation further. The second half of the album revisits traditional Latin rhythms and Spanish-language lyrics before dipping into Delta blues and other roots music—the mandolin intro and drunken beat of the catchy title track could have been hatched at one of Levon Helms’ Midnight Rambles. If you’re seeking a thematic approach, you’d better search elsewhere. But if you’re looking for an album that reflects the cultural polyglot that is modern America, Gates of Gold is it.  

More Info

Contributors:
  • primary artist, Los Lobos
Purchase:
  • CD

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