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Los Lobos - Gates of Gold

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 8 / 10 / 2015

Los Lobos - Gates of Gold
Label: Proper Records
Format: CD


Legendary East L.A. group Los Lobos cook up a diverse musical brew on their latest album 'Gates of Gold'

Los Lobos, a storied band from East L.A., who have received a wealth of awards and accolades, are now entering their fifth decade. 'Gates of Gold', their latest studio album is their first set of new songs since 2010. Los Lobos' approach is to create spontaneously when they record, bringing a multitude of styles into the mix. With an entrancing guitar line and a steady drum beat, 'Made to Break Your Heart' is a heavy dose of blues rock, yet something highly original. With lyrics about a river flowing and heartbreak, Los Lobos are all the while creating a hypnotic groove. The album is filled with songs romantic and spiritual - lyrical snapshots. 'When We Were Free' possesses a cool jazz feel with a touch of some kind of Latin samba. “It was all we wanted, all we needed/And never had to feel afraid.” The lyrics are evocative of better times. 'Mis-Treater Boogie Blues' is a turbo charged, guitar based boogie-woogie meets blues engine. 'There I Go' offers easy soul, a rhythm and blues based feel, as Los Lobos capture an amalgam of musical styles from blues rock to Mexican folk, jazz, soul and beyond. 'Too Small Heart' is a dose of garage rock. Each new number finds the band cooking up a heady musical brew; while still evocative of the barrio or the neighborhood they come from. The title track, 'Gates of Gold', begins with a gorgeous mandolin shimmering. The vocal speaks to far off beauty to behold: “Almost there and yet so far/ Is where we’ll find our home.” 'Song of the Sun' is a darkly lit and plaintive ballad about twists and turns on a journey “when I couldn’t feel the dirt beneath my feet.” The eloquent guitar led closer 'Magdalena' sweeps the listener up in its beauty. It is a slow burning blues based number- a fine finish to a solid, first rate collection of songs.

Track Listing:-
1 Made to Break Your Heart
2 When We Were Free
3 Mis-Treater Boogie Blues
4 There I Go
5 Too Small Heart
6 Poquito para Aqui
7 Gates of Gold
8 La Tumba Sera el Final
9 Song of the Sun
10 I Believed You So
11 Magdalena
12 Nachas (Instrumental Demo)
13 Prenda del Alma (Live)

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