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World Music CD Reviews North American


By Derek Beres
Published February 17, 2006

Good Morning Aztlán

If quality and age are truly inseparable, Good Morning Aztlán is proof positive. Celebrating their 25th year of creating bluesy Chicano rock and Mexicana folk, Los Lobos has both survived and thrived as a band playing straight-ahead four-minute catchy singles. No flashy samples or slick production techniques exist; instead, they rely on comfortable familiarity. Both “Done Gone Blue” and “Luz de Mi Vada” lean toward traditional blues with bouncing percussion keeping steady undercurrent. Quetzal vocalist Martha Gonzalez adds a touch of airy femininity with background work on four tracks, including the pop-laden “Hearts Of Stone” (possibly the best cut on the album) and the hypnotically melodic “Tony Y Maria.” The CD features a second disc with two live songs and a CD-ROM documentary. Sung entirely in English–besides occasional crossover lyrics–with a clean, thorough ambiance throughout, Los Lobos has produced the maturity of their 11th album into a sonically grooved effort maintaining the hunger of a band just embarking on a long, illustrious career.