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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Records & Reviews: A Revelation from Los Lonely Boys

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Los Lonely Boys, “Revelation”

Los Lonely Boys credit their ongoing success to love and holding fast to family traditions in their new album titled “Revelation.”

The record spans many musical styles and influences to give listeners a better understanding of Los Lonely Boys’ range and songwriting ability.

The first track on the album, “Blame it on Love,” may take some listeners off guard with its first traditionally Mexican notes. The song starts out sounding like a corrido and eases into a great rock ‘n’ roll track.

The first few chords of “So Sensual” give the ambiance of a great Motown dance ballad that sounds like a Smoky Robinson and the Miracles spinoff. The influence is obvious but respectful. This is Los Lonely Boys at their best, and the song transforms the album into a polished wall of sound with an amazing horn arrangement and guitar solo.

To balance out the many different musical styles offered on the first half of the album, the Garza brothers offer a beautiful sentiment in “Familia.” Henry Garza gives an amazing vocal performance singing, “As long as we face this together, nothing can stop us remember/someday it will be alright/we’ll keep on searching until we see the light.” The sound is stripped down to their main instruments and gives an atmosphere of the closeness of the group dynamic.

The best offering on the album comes in a Ritchie Valens-inspired song called “Dream Away.” It begins with a play on the “La Bamba” riff and moves into a great stanza about dreaming away. The middle eight has a well-written acoustic guitar solo layered for a unison effect; the bridge lyric is sung entirely in Spanish to give authenticity to their Valens homage.

The album’s ending track, “Everything About You,” is a slow acoustic country ballad. The structure has all of the cliché country platitudes; it’s a story about love between a man and a woman. A country style groove and guitar picking makes this ending track less memorable and exciting than the previous tracks.

Revelation has a great exploration of sound and a melting pot of genres. If this record was a résumé of Los Lonely Boys’ years of experience, they would get the job. The only drawback “Revelation” may have is that it doesn’t hone in on one point and establish a theme, but that might be the point the band was trying to make. “Revelation” is worth a listen.

Stephen Montoya is the culture editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @StephenMontoya9.