Los Lobos – This Time (1999) [MFSL 2004]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 38:01 minutes | Scans included | 1,54 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 790 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2024 | Genre: Rock
Los Lobos might have touted themselves as “just another band from East L.A.”, but it’s quite likely that even the group’s humble members recognized that few—if any—other artists in the late 1980s rivaled their soulful music, rousing performances, and eclectically blended arrangements. While lacking the commercial status of the quintet’s subsequent La Bamba release, By the Light of the Moon stands as the band’s most enjoyable excursion into American-hued soul, penetratingly reflective lyrics, and earnest roots rock. The music making is simply extraordinary.
Given all the extracurricular projects members of Los Lobos pursued during the three years separating Colossal Head and its followup, it’s not surprising that they’ve decided to show off what they’ve learned on This Time, resulting in a record that vacillates between songcraft and sonic sculptures. It could be said that Kiko and Colassal Head were like this as well, but the difference is that This Time has the structure of a straight-ahead rock & roll record, clocking in at 38 minutes with 11 short tracks. While that conciseness is welcome, it also points out the flaws in the post-Latin Playboys Los Lobos — Cesar Rosas’ fine rockers are obscured by a layer of studio gauze, and David Hidalgo’s songs can seem like excuses to run wild in the studio. If the production was truly evocative or innovative, that wouldn’t be a problem, but This Time is another in a long line of murky, self-conscious productions from Froom, Blake, and Hidalgo, where creating sound is more important than making music. This is especially frustrating, since This Time has elements of a very good record — it’s paced well and boasts strong moments from both Hidalgo (“This Time,” “Turn Around”) and Rosas (“Oh Yeah,” “Cumbia Raza”). As it stands, it is Los Lobos’ tightest record since The Neighborhood, but it’s hard not to feel that it could have been better if Los Lobos saved the “explorations” for their side-projects.
01. This Time
02. Oh Yeah
04. High Places
05. Cumbia Raza
06. Run Away With You
08. Some Say, Some Do
09. Turn Around
10. La Playa
11. Why We Wish
Mastered by Shawn R. Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA.