Los Lobos continue to be one of the most underappreciated bands in rock as well as one of the best live times you'll experience at a concert. After slogging away for more than thirty years, it's amazing that this band isn't as revered as The Rolling Stones. After all, for as amazing and influential as The Rolling Stones are, even diehard fans admit they have not made a truly great album since Tattoo You. Los Lobos, on the other hand, just keep churning out quality product.
Like Neil Young, Los Lobos have a pattern for releasing albums. They'll briefly surface with an undisputed classic (How Will The Wolf Survive, Kiko, The Town And The City), then drop under the radar and put out a series of albums that vary from the "good" to the "very good." Actually, the Neil Young comparison isn't fair to Los Lobos since they haven't released any major blemishes, such as Trans or Are You Passionate?.
Tin Can Trust is the follow-up to The Town And The City, an album that injected a tremendous amount of life into the band as Los Lobos covered the still white-hot topic of immigration while delivering some of the greatest hooks on any of their albums. Tin Can Trust, their first album on a brand new label (Shot Factory!) isn't nearly as ambitious. But as a whole, sometimes one good song after another is just fine.
The disc beings with "Burn It Down," a song that deftly addresses the universal theme of wanting to scrap whatever job/life you have and start over. Dave Hidalgo continues to be one of the great multitaskers in rock, playing blues, straightforward rock and Mexicana. Tin Can Trust seems to exist as a greatest hits collection for Lobos, as ballads, blues, and straightforward rock are all over the album at the slight expense of cohesiveness.
Other than the lack of cohesiveness, the only minor gaffe on the album is an ill-conceived cover of The Grateful Dead's "West L.A. Fadeaway." Far from a bad cover, it just seems to be an unnecessary addition to the album. And the addition of the song only adds to the album's disjointed feel.
If you're a newcomer to Los Lobos, Tin Can Trust will do just fine. But if this is the first release of theirs that you've purchased and you love it, you ain't heard nothing yet.
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