Album Review

Los Lobos, 'Tin Can Trust'

August 2, 2010

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All expectations have been lifted from Los Lobos. The fusion-minded Chicano rockers, whose core has been together 37 years, tried for too long to make ambitious records that overshot themselves and overstayed our welcome. But this new one is among the best of their career, dropping the need to impress. Lobos cut it in Manny’s Estudio in East LA, a no-frills spot that mirrors these unpretentious tunes. The opener, “Burn It Down,’’ sets the stage by building steadily — like Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road’’ — and features meaty backup vocals by Susan Tedeschi. The Stonesy “On Main Street’’ talks about “getting a little dirt on my shoes,’’ while the title track is a populist blues original about surviving the down economy. The group also shows its ties with the Grateful Dead, for which it opened gigs in the ’80s. They nail the groove of the Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway’’ so you can almost smell the patchouli. Guitarist David Hidalgo sounds like Jerry Garcia reborn. And they pair it with the dreamy new “All My Bridges Burning,’’ co-written with Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Lobos also summon a hot dance pulse on two Spanish tracks, the cumbia “Yo Canto’’ and the norteño “Mujer Ingrata.’’ A job well done. (Out tomorrow) STEVE MORSE

ESSENTIAL “Burn It Down’’