The Town and the City
The 13 confident tracks on The Town and the City form a loose narrative, following an immigrant’s travels and travails al norte. True to Los Lobos’ past musical statements, the songs take a personal rather than politicized look at the issues at hand. But the band’s music remains the real story here. The collection is intimate, stirring and stylistically diverse, with pounding border-blues-rock, slow funk and a rousing cumbia leading right into a plaintive ballad. Two tracks split the album’s title, highlighting the emotional dilemma faced by many immigrants with heartfelt ties to two “homes.” “The City,” an intriguing mix of moody, ringing modulations and a pulsing, hand-muted guitar lick, is full of a new arrival’s brash hopes, while “The Town” is a gorgeous homesick lament.