Los Lobos - Disconnected in New York City (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
LOS Lobos are celebrating their 40th anniversary with the release of Disconnected in New York City, a live album that effortlessly illustrates their unique mix of Latin soul grooves, roots rock, Mexican folk, traditional Spanish, blues and R&B.
Recorded live last December at the City Winery in NYC, the original members – David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Louie Perez, Steve Berlin and Conrad Lozano (with the additional help of Enrique “Bugs” Gonzalez and Camilo Quinones) – clearly enjoy being in each other’s company and mixing up the styles.
The Neighborhood sets things off in extremely satisfying manner, combining a roots rock sound with even an element of jazz (in the horns), while the sound of old Mexico is prevelant to toe-tapping effect in the lively Chuco’s Cumbia (which features an irresistible waltz between the Spanish guitars and an earthy sax). It’s sung in Spanish.
Tears of God offers an acoustic ballad that’s rooted in melancholy (thereby showing how they can also excel at intimacy), while a Mexican vibe returns to the playful La Venganza De Los Pelados and a classic Americana rock sound inhabits Tin Can Trust, the title track from their most recent (and excellent) album and which lays down a superb guitar solo midway through.
It perhaps goes without saying that they save the very best for last, in the form of the celebratory Set Me Free (Rosa Lee) and the still anthemic and fresh sounding La Bamba (their biggest hit), which has been rolled up and paired with the equally fun Good Lovin’.
It’s a combination that ensures you depart the experience on a high. But in truth, this is an outstanding showcase for everything that’s been good about listening to Los Lobos over the years. They’re a class act – happy 40th boys.
Editor’s note: The release comes in three formats – a standard CD, a deluxe 2CD/DVD package and on vinyl.
Download picks: The Neighbourhood, Chuco’s Cumbia, Tin Can Trust, Set Me Free (Rosa Lee), La Bamba/Good Lovin’