Javier Escovedo Record Review
Kicked Out of Eden (Saustex)
When Javier Escovedo pants, "I really need her! I gotta see her! It's been so long since I been Downtown, I wonder if she's still around?" over a piano pounding out New York Dolls-style punk on "Downtown," it's impossible to discern whether he's being tempted by a drug or woman. That ambiguity remains a hallmark of rock & roll, and Kicked Out of Eden, the Zeros frontman's second solo outing, emanates a tougher, wilder energy than 2008's power-pop City Lights. The album's core sound – Johnny Thunders, the Replacements, and Byrds – fuels a late-night joyride marked by hard livin' lifestyle declarations "It Ain't Easy" and "Gypsy Son," and occasional slow dances. Gentile "Drivin' Around" tells of loners in love, and similarly delicate, show-stealing closer "Searchin' for You" bears the cross of a lifelong rocker sick of growing up: "Time is always calling my name when I just want to be alone. Hanging around outside the stage door, waiting patiently to take me home." Meanwhile, Javi oozes cool like a man impervious to the drag of time.