Tin Can Trust
Los Lobos are perhaps best known as a great live band rather than for producing classic albums. “Tin Can Trust” is pleasant enough to listen to, and proficiently played throughout – in particular, there’s some excellent guitar playing shared between David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas and Louie Perez, and Hidalgo is a decent singer. But the songs are a real mixed bag, and this album will probably satisfy existing fans without winning them too many new converts, as there doesn’t seem too much here that’s particularly inspired or different.
Susan Tedeschi shares vocals on the opener “Burn It Down”, and the second song “On Main Street” is a nice take on the simple pleasures of strolling down the street in your own neighbourhood with no particular purpose in mind. There are a couple of songs sung in Spanish, of which “Mujer Ingrata” has a more traditional feel, with accordion to the fore and a polka beat.
Los Lobos have been together for more than 30 years, and at times the album sounds like a tribute to earlier influences. So “Do The Murray” is a bluesy guitar workout instrumental, reminiscent of the Allman Brothers, or maybe Eric Clapton, in their prime. And “West L.A. Fadeaway” is a seven-minute cover version of the Grateful Dead song from the 1980s.
The most interesting songs lyrically are “The Lady Of The Rose”, about an encounter with a mysterious woman, and best of all the closing track “27 Spanishes”. This takes us on an ambitious trip from the invasion of Mexico by the Spanish conquistadors right up to current-day integration, all wrapped up with light irreverence: Later they became muy friendly, And their blood was often mixed, Now they all hang out together, And play guitars for kicks.