The Silos' Cuba has become something of a low-flying classic since its release in 1987. The band's brand of rock & roll qualifies as pre-Uncle Tupelo alternative country, highlighted by the addition of Mary Rowell's violin. Despite the album's name, Cuba -- the island from which Walter Salas-Humara's parents fled -- never comes to the forefront. Instead, vocalist/writer Salas-Humara uses it as a symbol, a place in one's mind where everything comes together. While songs like "Tennessee Fire" and "She Lives Up the Street" have given the Silos a reputation for rock & roll, they also excel with gentler ballads. The acoustic "Margaret" is one of the album's best moments, highlighted by an acoustic arrangement and Dave Pearlman's steel guitar. Lyrics like "Margaret goes to bed around eight/I go to bed around one" capture something elusive with small, everyday details. This off-the-cuff quality works wonderfully on "For Always," a love song with the charming refrain, "She knows I'm hers for always/She holds my love for always." These quiet moments offer a nice contrast to slashing guitar and drum tracks, and both styles come together to form a satisfying whole on Cuba.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.