Los Lobos – Kiko
This is another one that goes in the “perfect album” category. Album with a capital “A.” This is a single work of art. It is not 16 songs. It is a single work of art. It is perfection from start to finish.
Los Lobos took a quantum leap forward with this album, and as Steve Berlin once noted, the band has lived on the other side of the shell they broke through every since.
They were already a great band, and thanks to La Bamba, they were a famous band. With Kiko, they achieved something else altogether—true artistry. Mastery. Genius.
It’s an extraordinarily textured release that calls on the spirits of so many regions, sounds, spirits, and genres, yet it’s never dilettantish, never skittery, never self-conscious. It’s simply a multi-layered, narrative and impressionist masterpiece.
I hesitate to recommend a single track to start with, because you simply MUST listen to the whole thing, in order, start to finish. That said, I know sometimes you need a point of entry to orient yourself before you take the journey. So start with Wake Up Dolores.
Then promise me you’ll do the right thing, and listen to the whole album. The WHOLE album. Start to finish. Promise me.