Big Station

Big Station

by Alejandro Escovedo
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Big Station is songwriter Alejandro Escovedo's 11th album, and his third consecutive collaboration with producer Tony Visconti. This pairing and Escovedo's writing partnership with Chuck Prophet have already been fruitful, but Big Station, with its headstrong rock & roll heart, is also more ambitious than either of its predecessors. The album is full ofSee more details below

Overview

Big Station is songwriter Alejandro Escovedo's 11th album, and his third consecutive collaboration with producer Tony Visconti. This pairing and Escovedo's writing partnership with Chuck Prophet have already been fruitful, but Big Station, with its headstrong rock & roll heart, is also more ambitious than either of its predecessors. The album is full of diverse musical and production notions ranging from the Clash's Sandinista! to records by Tinariwen, Rachid Taha, Lou Reed, and Mink DeVille, but bear Escovedo's own indelible signature. Visconti's predilection for enormous basslines, female backing choruses, handclaps, and tight rhythm sections is readily evident; it adds to the album's pleasure factor by ten. Escovedo and Prophet have chosen to write tight songs that contain readily apparent, hooky melodies, juxtaposed against (usually) poignant lyrics. "Man of the World" opens it all with a meld of big glam guitars, handclaps, and a backing Ramones-esque "oh yeah" chorus that is infectious and offsets the tune's weighty subject matter. The title track, driven by acoustic guitars and an equally electric chorus, is pumped up by percussive elements from hands, snares, and a menacing bassline underneath. It's a broken, desperate love song, but you'd never know it by its melody or arrangement. "Sally Was a Cop" is a cutting observation about the Mexican drug war, and the choices the country's citizens are forced to make. On "Can't Make Me Run," a muted trumpet and nasty fat bassline front a droning guitar line and airtight percussive groove. The lyric views the world from an utterly disillusioned and bewildered space, vacillating between fear and defiance. Near the end, Escovedo's protagonist's homesickness pleads for the guidance of his mother and seems to hear her in the wind as she responds repeatedly: "Don't give up on love." Here again, the Miles-like mute on the trumpet, funky bassline, and clapping grab the listener instantly. "San Antonio Rain," with its sad Americana melody, is tinged with a stirring norteño string chart and contains the devastating line "The last thing I need/Is something that will kill my pain," which we recall even as the protagonist begins to waver -- we never discover if he falters. "Headstrong Crazy Fools" looks back at life and its characters without nostalgia; in their place are wisdom and a hard-earned sense of humor -- revealed by the music itself. "Common Mistake" and "Party People" recall late-'70s new wave, but without irony or gimmicks; the music is undeniably catchy but both songs carry lyric heft. Set closer "Sabor a Mi," sung in Spanish, is the album's only cover. It was penned in 1959 by Mexican composer Alvaro Carrillo. For all its ambition and poetry, Big Station is consistently great fun. The songwriting and recording employed here take Escovedo's populist and sophisticated art to a whole new level.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2012
Label:
Fantasy
UPC:
0888072329973
catalogNumber:
32997
Rank:
15647

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alejandro Escovedo   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Tony Visconti   Keyboards,Tambourine
Chris Searles   Drums
Elias Haslanger   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Kristeen Young   Vocals
Jim Eno   Hand Clapping,Surdo,Floor Tom
Brian Standefer   Cello
Warren Hood   Fiddle,Violin
Bobby Daniel   Bass,Vocals
David Pulkingham   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Evan Jacobs   farfisa organ
Ephraim Owens   Trumpet
Karla Manzur   Vocals
Gina Lopez Holton   Vocals

Technical Credits

Chuck Prophet   Composer
Alejandro Escovedo   Composer
Tony Visconti   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Hector Muñoz   Composer
Paul Blakemore   Mastering
Alvaro Carillo   Composer
Jim Eno   Engineer
Bobby Daniel   Composer
David Pulkingham   Composer
Larissa Collins   Art Direction
Nicholas Saunder   Intern

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >