Alejandro Escovedo “An Introduction” (Floating World, 2009)
Shoddy cherry-picked repackaging of early-ish work
Before we start lets be absolutely clear. Alejandro Escovedo’s hard-rocking rootsy Tex-Mex music wasn’t, isn’t and is unlikely ever to be worth a mere 2/10. The fourteen songs here are all excellent, with “Pyramid Of Tears” and a superlative cover of Ian Hunter’s “I Wish I Was Your Mother” the standouts. No, 2/10 is for this shoddy repackaged mess which even at a fiver a go is overpriced.
The album claims to include six tracks from “Gravity”, five from “Thirteen Years” (Escovedo’s first two solo albums), two from “The Hand Of the Father” (sic) and the aforementioned Hunter cover as a bonus. It doesn’t. The notes say that “Bury Me” is from “Gravity” which, unless it’s doubled in length and merged with “Hard Road” when I wasn’t looking, it isn’t. A live version of the Velvets “Pale Blue Eyes” is apparently from “Thirteen Years,” which is true only if it was so well hidden as to be invisible. Etc. Etc. While we’re on the liner notes, they consist of pictures of the three album covers and two hundred unnecessary words of promotion and very basic biographical information. There’s nothing on players, release dates, no interesting snippets etc. etc. The booklet cover is in fact from “The End/Losing Your Touch” EP, from where the version of “Pale Blue Eyes” is drawn, not that you’d know.
Musically things aren’t much better. The levels from the different recordings are all over the place so constant volume adjustment is necessary. “Bury Me/Hard Road” ends with the introduction to “I Wish I Was Your Mother,” which doesn’t actually appear for a further nine tracks, while as if to balance things out “Thirteen Years” introduces “Broken Bottle” which appeared five tracks earlier.
All in all, this is just a mess which doesn’t bode well for Floating World’s apparent intention to re-release all three albums later this year. Save up another fiver and buy “A Man Under the Influence” or pretty much anything else by Escovedo instead.
Date review added: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle
Related web link: Alejandro Escovedo website