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Real Animal

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 24, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Alejandro Escovedo's 9th solo album, produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T.Rex, Thin Lizzy), Real Animal is a collective journey through Escovedo's various musical incarnations from punk rock to string quintets and it is as introspective as it is retrospective. This album features a band of frequent collaborators, including David Pulkingham (guitar), Josh Gravelin (bass), Hector Munoz (drums), Susan Voelz (violin), Brian Standefer (cello) and Chuck Prophet (guitar). The 13 original tracks unravel Escovedo's musical autobiography while presenting him as a masterful American musician, whose palette encompasses eloquent string quintets and shattering blasts of punk rock.
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Digital Booklet: Real Animal
Digital Booklet: Real Animal
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Manhattan Records
  • ASIN: B0018FZIS0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,781 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
Escovedo has collaborated with longtime pal Chuck Prophet on the songs here, and come up with a career defining, if not quite desperately divine little record. Here's one that tells the tales, names the names, uplifts, crushes, teases & challenges the listener and simply rocks it's delightful & bedraggled heart out when appropriate.

Chronicling his life as a journeyman in the underground music world, this record is an audio companion to Escovedo's near death experience with Hepatitis C and his phoenix like resurrection to find respect and admiration from his rock n roll idols who've since become peers and friends ( guys like Bruce Springsteen and Ian Hunter). From his formative day's as a young punk at The Golden Bear club in Southern California, to staying alongside Sid & Nancy at the Chelsea Hotel, to his decades of raw road dogging around the world, all the road miles are documented.

Whether you are new to his saga, or recall the down and dirty days with The Nuns or Rank & File with Chip & Tony Kinman of the Dils, there's something for you here. It's a real animal of a rock n roll record in an "American Idle" mall mouse music world that may not realize what that means. Why wait for marching orders from the radio or Paula Abdul and her idiot buddies, just get it and hear for yourself these sad but True Believer stories that are simply something anyone should be able to appreciate.

Former Bowie and T-Rex producer Tony Visconti has called it one of the best thing's he's twiddled the knobs on in years, and I'd simply have to agree.
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Format: Audio CD
i'm stunned at how strong this album is.

Who would've thought that Alejandro's writing would continue to get even better? And the band(one of the finest live bands you'll ever hear) is in full bloom here, powerful and surprising in each cut - this sucker is as good as it gets, no exageration.

it's a bargain at any price, and at $9.99 here and at newbury comix this has got to be the greatest buy out there.

Hector outdoes himself throughout, btw.

as much as i love his other albums, this is the 1st studio work that hit me as immediate and as powerful as a live Alejandro show does (i've been to more than 20 since his 1st solo release).

alex, if you read this, way to go from the guy with the wood headphones.
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Stop the presses!!! er, i guess I should say say CONTINUE them... the track listing is expanded on the lp version - by one more new song and 1 great cover (just be surprised, now) and it makes this absolutely great rock album even greater.

also as it should be the analog is even better sounding, and the pressing is super quiet (AND cost under 20 bucks - vs the 20 to 40 plus usd for most of the "audiophile" pressings being made today (many of which are not so quiet at all).

hard to imagine that this is "better", as it's already an immediate must have for anybody who digs the stones or the velvet underground/Lou Reed/john cale or bowie or ian hunter/mott or patti smith/lenny kaye or neil young/buffalo springfield and i really ought to add any and all garage rock.

go ahead and add to this list the best of the best by every essential rock band, from clash to brian wilson.
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Format: Audio CD
Just when you think Alejandro's albums can not get any better! Real Animal is great, great, great. If you ever have a chance to see Alejandro alive, go for it. Go out of your way to see him and the band, it is very unique experience - and different each time! Oh - and to see/hear him "unplugged" in smaller surroundings - wow, BREATHLESS!!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I think this is Alejandro Escovedo's best studio album to date. Nothing matches the energy of an Alejandro live show, but I think this comes close. This is, flat out, a great rock and roll record. Legendary rock critic Dave Marsh calls it the "album of the year," which is saying something. (Note: As I type this review it's only late June, so calling this the album of the year may be pushing it just a bit...but it is defintely going to be a finalist for that title at the end of the year!) Tony Visconti's stellar production helps make this album sound great, as does Chuck Prophet's outstanding guitar work. Escovedo is on top of his game vocally, and this batch of songs just shows that he's getting stronger as a writer. He may have been down and out for awhile with his illness and all, but he's back...and he's better than ever! Standout tracks--for me at least--are "Always a Friend," "Chelsea Hotel '78," and "Sister Lost Soul" (these are the first three tracks on the album, so what does that tell ya??). "Sensitive Boys" and "Swallows of San Juan" are also great songs on the mellower side. Nice to see Mr. Escovedo back on top and getting much critical acclaim.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Alejandro for more years than I'm sure he wants some fans to know he's been making music. With each record he shows growth and his unbelievable depth of inspiration. You take an artist like Alejandro(and let's face all rock and roller's want to be viewed as cool)and every now and again they produce a work that shows just how honestly gifted they really are and the fans that already "get" them know that the record is just the tip of a deep reservoir of soul. Is this the big E's "Sound and the Fury"? I once thought "13 Years" was an album that could never be surpassed. I've changed my opinion. I honestly think "Real Animal" for the time being is "the" record of his career. Few albums work for me first time I play them all the way through. "Real Animal" is the rare exception. Great job! Thank you, Alejandro. If I'd had this when Isaac was born he'd had to have listened to the entire record. siempre.
ps. ironically on a division of EMI-what goes around....
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