16 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Arguably their greatest album, Kiko successfully brings together Los Lobos’ sophisticated songwriting and unique take on Mexican and American roots music with an arty, adventurous production to create a rich and rewarding work. They do it all here. There are straight-ahead rockers (“That Train Don’t Stop Here,” “Whiskey Trail”), tender ballads (“When the Circus Comes,” “Two Janes,” “Just a Man”), and Latin-soaked stunners (“Saint Behind the Glass”). The heart of the album is the jazzy and atmospheric “Kiko and the Lavender Moon,” which swirls saxophones, keyboards, accordion, guitars, and funky drumming into something mysterious and timeless. Produced by Los Lobos and Mitchell Froom, the studio is brilliantly used as an extra member of the band. Controlled distortion, found sounds, and thrilling sonic textures abound, and the guitar work and assorted percussion is remarkable across these 16 songs. Fully realized and completely absorbing, this is Los Lobos at their most ambitious and experimental. Kiko is an unjustly overlooked masterpiece.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Arguably their greatest album, Kiko successfully brings together Los Lobos’ sophisticated songwriting and unique take on Mexican and American roots music with an arty, adventurous production to create a rich and rewarding work. They do it all here. There are straight-ahead rockers (“That Train Don’t Stop Here,” “Whiskey Trail”), tender ballads (“When the Circus Comes,” “Two Janes,” “Just a Man”), and Latin-soaked stunners (“Saint Behind the Glass”). The heart of the album is the jazzy and atmospheric “Kiko and the Lavender Moon,” which swirls saxophones, keyboards, accordion, guitars, and funky drumming into something mysterious and timeless. Produced by Los Lobos and Mitchell Froom, the studio is brilliantly used as an extra member of the band. Controlled distortion, found sounds, and thrilling sonic textures abound, and the guitar work and assorted percussion is remarkable across these 16 songs. Fully realized and completely absorbing, this is Los Lobos at their most ambitious and experimental. Kiko is an unjustly overlooked masterpiece.

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