Los Lonely Boys

Revelation

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As the first album the band recorded after guitarist Henry Garza suffered a serious spinal injury when he fell off-stage during a concert, 2014's Revelation finds Los Lonely Boys revitalized. The Texan trio has never been constrained by genre, but here they let their imagination wild, dabbling in every sound or style that's ever tickled their fancy, easing into proceedings with a teasing bit of traditional Tex-Mex -- "Blame It on Love" opens with little more than guitar, accordion, and voice -- before diving into every roots or rock style they've ever hinted at in the past. This does include melodic AOR adult pop -- "Give a Little More" could be mistaken for the great lost outtake from Santana's Supernatural -- and one of the pleasures of Revelation is the ease with which Los Lonely Boys can do this kind of soft rock without losing earthiness. Much of this comes toward the front of the album, particularly in the one-two punch of the breezy island vibes of "It's Just My Heart Talking" and the sublime yacht rock homage "There's Always Tomorrow" (which could've torn up the airwaves in 1981), and although Revelation shifts gears toward the end of the album, accentuating both their conjunto and blues roots, they keep winding back to this easy melodic touch, whether it's in the steeped-in-the-'70s soul of "So Sensual" or crooning sweetly on "The Greatest Ever." Such a soft, welcoming touch is the thing crossovers are made of, and if there is an adventurous AAA station somewhere in America, it's possible to imagine about half of these songs providing the backbone of a regular playlist, but even if Los Lonely Boys don't strike radio gold with Revelation, its freshness proves that ten years after their 2004 breakthrough, the band is as lively as ever and, in some sly subtle ways, better than ever too.

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