The Man’s “Real As an Animal”

by | Jun 25, 2008

Courtesy of Flickr user, Mike Bouchard

Jim DeRogatis, music critic for Chicago Sun Times likes Alejandro Escovedo’s new album, “Real Animal.” Not as much as I do, but that’s okay.

Blame a midlife crisis or a fury prompted of any number of dramas in Alejandro Escovedo’s life, from divorce to a near-fatal bout with Hepatitis C but at age 57, the veteran Texas roots-rocker has returned for the first time in his long solo career to the aggressive, at-times punk-rock sounds of his earliest band, the Nuns, with a few hints of pioneering alternative-country combos Rank & File and the True Believers thrown in for good measure.

Co-written with Chuck Prophet, produced by the legendary Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex) and propelled by a crack band that includes Chicago-based violinst Susan Voelz, “Real Animal” is rife with borrowed licks from Bowie and one of Escovedo’s biggest heroes, Lou Reed.

I’m still listening for the best track on a record full of contenders. Andrew Dansby of The Houston Chronicle likes the opening track, “Always a Friend.” He says it “as infectious a pop song as Escovedo has written.” I like track four, “Smoke.”

[MP3] “Smoke” by Alejandro Escovedo