Alejandro Escovedo, 'Street Songs of Love' (Fantasy)

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Street Songs of Love
Critical Mass
Label: Fantasy

by Jon Young

With a mournful voice and handful of musical styles spanning introspective folk and blast-furnace punk, Alejandro Escovedo never makes dull albums, but his dark aura can be overwhelming. The wonderful Street Songs of Love brightens slightly without losing intensity on hopeful anthem "Anchor," lusty stomper "Silver Cloud," and the spooky "Tula," on which he murmurs, "There's more to this life than a random kiss," over a jungle beat. His duet with Bruce Springsteen on the roaring "Faith" is a great attention-getter, though unnecessary-Escovedo is best experienced undiluted.

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