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Escovedo's "Big Station" is a full-frontal rock assault. The opener "Man of the World" layers driving guitar riffs & an in-your-face lyric, "I can take a punch; I can take a swing." The title track powers its pop with Chris Searles' drums mixed loud as Alejandro opens, "I thought I was a man of steel; It nearly did me in; They hosed me down with Kryptonite, called my next of kin." On "Can't Make Me Run," Ephraim Owens' trumpet oozes smoky late-night sleaze as the tempo slows but the attitude remains like barbed wire, "They're running the streets of Chicago, running the streets of Detroit, burning down the halls of San Antonio; Don't ask me for a dime, I'm just hanging on." When Escovedo slows the pace for the lovely lament "San Antonio Rain," his vocals become laden with emotion, "You whispered something pretty in my ear; I just laid down to rest my eyes; When I woke up, there was nobody there." "Common Mistake" has a funky beat punctuated by sax riffs on an incredibly catchy track. "A neophyte, a hedonist, a pagan love, a sloppy kiss," opens Escovedo's channeling of Sly & the Family Stone on the delicious "Party People." Heavy percussion & subtle electric guitar give a sinister feel on the snake-like "Too Many Tears," "Put on some red lipstick, just don't fake it." "Big Station" is an excellent set, one of Escovedo's strongest. Enjoy!
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on June 7, 2012
Alejandro Escovedo proves once again why he's considered one of the best songwriters working today. There are echoes of the greats of rock who have come before, filtered through Al's unique and storied history and given a fresh twist through his masterful use of language.
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on June 8, 2012
Alejandro Escovedo "Big Station" (2012)

On Alejandro's 11th studio offering, "Big Station", Escovedo teams up with producer Tony Visconti for the third time. This album rocks from the get go, with "Man Of The World", to the Mexican tune from 1959 "Sabor A Mi". In the last 4 years Alejandro Escovedo has been on fire, and this one is no exception. If you need one great Americana rock' n' roll album this month, get this disc! Just a tremendous release.
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on June 25, 2012
Alejandro Escovedo doesn't make bad records. Even when he is off his game he is better than much of what passes for popular music. Having listened to everything starting with A Man Under The Influence up to Big Station, I believe the new release will not be considered among his best. There are 7 songs that I like. Three or four of those I will want to add to my AE playlist. And there are 5 songs that I will probably never listen to again.

There are several spots on this release where lyrics are quite predictable--during my first listen I was able to complete the lyrics to several verses before I actually heard them--I knew which words and phrases he was going to use to complete the rhyme. I'm not sure if that is a good thing.

Big Station has the same feel as AE last two releases--Real Animal and Street Songs of Love. The songs and the lyrics just aren't quite as good. The performance and production, as always, is top notch.

My favorite track is the very Motown-ish Headstrong Crazy Fools.
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on August 2, 2012
Some of us know Alejandro from before he ever had a solo album. Now, he has a stack of them. Relative to these other solo albums, I give this a three-star. Everyone has musical taste, but in my view, if you want to see what has built a super hardcore underground committed fan base, start with Gravity, then progress in order. Gravity is singularly a stand-out, and a few others would get 5 stars if I ever got around to reviewing them.

All of this is great punk-inspired roots-rock, or roots-inspired punk rock, with Texas swagger and maybe some dramatic-fatalistic Hispanic qualities. Including Big Station.

For the most part, I have two notes regarding three versus five stars. The first is that here it seems like Alejandro is out to channel some of his heroes. Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and add Bruce Springsteen. Plus a couple others - maybe David Johansen.

But on a few tracks, it is Alejandro, at his full stature as the hero to many rock icons. The Alejandro who could stunningly front a string section, sling a guitar straight into a punk rock mosh pit anthem, or walk on stage with nothing other than his guitar and a few anecdotes.

Never Stood A Chance and Too Many Tears. These coulda been off of one of those earlier five-star albums and not seemed out of place.

The other criticism. Somewhere along the line, Alejandro told us in the audience he had to sober up. Later, it was revealed that he had Hep C. It is a guess to assume it might have been from needle-sharing, and Hep C can also come from sharing needles in amateur self-and-friend-tattooing.

In any case, Alejandro apparently went thru through the interferon treatment, which is very grueling and has only a fair success rate, but he supposedly was one of the successful patients. This could be the meaning behind the idea of "hosed me down with Kryptonite," in Big Station.

Some of this album seems to be about either substance dependence or being haunted by a disease that traveled along that dependence. I think this stuff may still be getting digested, or has been digested, into his art. A handful of the songs have themes like none of te old crowd is around anymore, and the congs just don't jump out like Alejandro's strongest stuff. They rock, and are well-played. Just not quite where the strongest songs from Alejandro are.

If you like Alejandro, you will probably like this album. In my opinion, it might not be your fav.

If you are just getting turned on to AE, try out one of the first three, esp the first two, and esp the first, Gravity. But ther is plenty of hot, unique, captivating, authentic singer-songwriter-rocker-arranger music all through all his albums.

For more straightforward rock, look for the double-album CD Hard Road, from Ryko, of the True Believers, the three-guitar rock line-up with AE, his brother Javier (who finally has a solo album out) and the rest of the TB line-up.
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on October 24, 2012
Alejandro Escovedo is the king in this neo Glam album. It seems he already turned the page from the bleak decade he experienced with the infamous hapatitis episode. All the songs are brilliant here. I would rate as his best ever. Way to go Sir!
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on August 6, 2012
I have most of Alejandro's albums and I saw him last year at the City Winery in NYC celebrating his birthday. He's the real thing as are all his albums. This album has some strong work but it's not his best, There's a lot of slow moving pieces which stay within a narrow range. Still it gets 4 stars as his songs always have substance in lyrics, emotion, and musicianship.
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on July 6, 2012
Escovedo has been doing more punk-influenced stuff on his last few albums. This one finds him going a bit more laid back with a touch of soul, adding some nice horns and backup singers. This is a fun, accessible album , more so than any of his other releases. As such, it isn't one of his "great" albums, but it still gets four stars from me, because it just sounds so good.
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on November 30, 2013
I've been a fan since The True Believers, loved all of his chamber-pop stuff and Buick McKane, liked the Cale record and loved the first two Visconti-produced albums.

This one, tho', I'm just not feeling. The songs are good, the lyrics excellent as usual, the hooks are there, the production and performances are good, also. But the arrangements seem simplistic and calculated, and the drumming is so basic and tight it's annoying, with the bass not far behind.

My least favorite from him.
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on August 8, 2012
This disc rates 5 Stars for sure. Alejandro just keeps getting better.
For a real treat buy the disc then get up and go see the man and his band live
cause that's where he really shines.
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