CD Review: Alejandro Escovedo — Street Songs of Love

Alejandro Escovedo
Street Songs of Love
Factory Records

By Eileen Tilson

He has collaborated with Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown. He was in punk outfit, The Nuns, who opened up for the Sex Pistols. He counts Bruce Springsteen among his loyal fans, who also plays on his latest album, Street Songs of Love. So who is this mystery man? The Most Interesting Man in the World? Sort of. It is Alejandro Escovedo, the unassuming legend, who has been the king of the underground Americana scene for decades. He is a musician that if you have not heard of, don’t say it out loud. After a near-fatal blow with Hepatitis C, Escovedo comes swinging back in full force with his 10th solo album that reaches to back to the core of every great rock song, Love.

And just because he can, Escovedo roped in some of his buddies to write with him, including veteran punker Chuck Prophet, Mott The Hopple’s Ian Hunter, and the “Boss” of blue collar rock, Bruce Springsteen. Teaming up again with producer Tony Visconti to create an album that is guaranteed to hit some “Best of 2010” lists. The record ranges from seedy gutter punk to introspective folk, keeping Escovedo’s dark aura glowing. Recorded with his four-piece road band, the album served up Texas-style with big guitars and even bigger choruses. With lyrics somewhat generic, but overall universal, the songs don’t call for introspection.

“Down in the Bowery” is a soul-wrenching acoustic ballad,  where as on the stand out “Faith,” the rocking guitar song preaching about having some “faith in the one you love” Escovedo is joined by his devoted fan, Bruce Springsteen.

Escovedo makes no fluff about wearing his influences,The Stooges and The New York dolls, on his sleeve. In fact, the entire album is a genuine reflection of Alejandro Escovedo at his best. Like the Man in Black, Escovedo has carved his place in music, and is in no hurry to stop cranking out ageless American rock n’ roll.


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