Record Review

Record Review

Los Lonely Boys

Forgiven (Epic/Or)

If maintaining the best of both worlds somehow smacks immodest for San Angelo's devoutly classic rock trio Los Lonely Boys, they can be Forgiven. Major label polish buffers the bros second studio LP for Epic and fourth Sony release overall, while strict adherence to decidedly radio-friendly run times of 3½ minutes reins in all the material as tightly as the Garzas' thick lacquered harmonies. The fade at the end of opener "Heart Won't Tell a Lie" signals less Strat and more singles. Sacrificed in no way whatsoever is Forgiven's immediacy, producer Steve Jordan gritting a live dynamic within the disc's stainless-steel sound paradigm. "Staying With Me," with its acoustic lining, and sequenced successor "Loving You Always," which takes a similar approach, float tunes so simple as to sound like covers of Sixties/Seventies rock canon traditionals. Spencer Davis' organ-fueled "I'm a Man" calls for more fireworks, but the cluster vocals and campfire tempos of "Make It Better" and potential third album spin-off "Love Don't Care About Me" make bank. A golden hook and liquid rhythm on "You Can't See the Light" could have stretched another minute easy, but as fine as "Superman" leavens the Summer of Love with Sixth Street – its romantic strut bouncing heavily on a suspension of rock-funk – shorter indeed equals stronger. Too swift for filler ("Another Broken Heart"), all is Forgiven.

***

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