Lucero, '1372 Overton Park' (Universal Republic)

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1372 Overton Park
Critical Mass
Label: Universal Republic

by David Peisner

Across five albums, Lucero have crammed tales of beautiful losers and dreams unfulfilled into torrid bar-band rock and gruff alt-country ballads. On their sixth, the band's sound finally matches their romantic ambitions. Audacious horn arrangements from Al Green sideman Jim Spake burst out of nearly every song as organs shimmer, pianos flash, and the rhythm section swings with surprising dexterity. Making the most of his sandpaper croak, frontman Ben Nichols infuses these tunes with both the we-gotta-get-outwhile-we're-young energy of a Born to Run–era Bruce and the knowledge that, at 35, he ain't that young anymore.

WATCH: Lucero, "Goodbye Again"

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