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Gates of Gold

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Album Review

Los Lobos were already seasoned veterans who had close to a decade of live work under their belts when the 1983 EP ...And a Time to Dance introduced them to an audience outside Los Angeles, and 32 years on, not only are Los Lobos still together, they're playing with the strength, fire, and imagination that have made them one of America's truly great rock & roll bands. Gates of Gold is Los Lobos' 17th studio album, and it arrives as a biography of the group, Los Lobos: Dream in Blue by Chris Morris, has been published, and while some groups might use this as an opportunity to look to the past or sum up their accomplishments, that's not how Los Lobos do business. One one hand, Gates of Gold does offer a healthy sampling of the many things that Los Lobos do well, from the straight-ahead rock of "Too Small Heart" and the raucous blues blast of "Mis-Treater Boogie Blues" to the fiery Latin swagger of "Poquito Para Aqui," the heartfelt folky simplicity of "La Tumba Sera el Final," and the inward-looking experimentalism of "There I Go" (the latter of which could pass for an outtake from Sly & the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On). But on the other hand, even if Los Lobos follow a few recognizable tropes from their songbook, none of these songs or this material sounds rote, and the jazz-flavored space walk through "When We Were Free" confirms this band is a long way from running out of new ideas. The performances are taut and intuitive on Gates of Gold, especially the always outstanding guitar work from David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas (the latter is still a solid blues howler four decades on), and the production revels in new and unexpected sounds, though never simply for the sake of being eccentric. Los Lobos have lasted because they follow their instincts and trust their talents, neither of which seem capable of letting them down; Gates of Gold shows they can contemplate the infinite and chart new paths while still sounding like no one but themselves, and they can do all of this with the force and agility they commanded when half their age. They probably don't have another 32 years of great music left in them, but 21 more may be a safe bet.

Customer Reviews

They are Back

Seems Hildalgo and the boys from East LA are back and in fine form. Wonderful cultural ambassadors as well as one of the longest lasting and most important bands in their genre. If you can't move to Made to Break Your Heart - they you might not have one beating inside you. Great musicianship, with lyrics that matter without preaching to the choir. Just another band from East L.A.? Hardly!

The Wolf has SURVIVED.

These first two songs carry elements of the last 40+ years of LOS LOBOS music and all their side projects. Amazing. I have seen these guys numerous times. Backstage, first row and from the back of the concert. Always a wonderful time whenever and however their music is played.

Pure Gates Of Gold!!!

Most underrated band ever. This mix is pure musical genius. Please don't wait so long.

Biography

Formed: 1973 in East Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most acclaimed American bands of the 1980s and '90s, Los Lobos were seasoned musical veterans with nearly 15 years of experience under their belts when they scored their first hit in 1987 with a cover of Richie Valens' "La Bamba." Though their time as pop stars was short, the group -- who enjoyed calling themselves "just another band from East L.A." -- won over critics and a legion of loyal fans with their bracing mixture of rock, blues, Tex-Mex, country, R&B, and Mexican folk sounds,...
Full Bio