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By Justin Cober-Lake/Pop Matters/November 9, 2016 – On his 15th album, Burn Something Beautiful, Alejandro Escovedo says a couple of times that he’s “got nothing left to say”, or that “there’s no stories left to say”. It isn’t true, of course, or else he and co-conspirators Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck would have put out a bland instrumental album. What we do find with Escovedo here is a sense of coming to the end, of putting down guitars and wrapping up loves and saying farewells. Throughout the album, though, he finds peace, or at least a peace with transition, and this tension between calm and loss makes for a steady center through an emotional and exploratory album.

The explorations shouldn’t come as a surprise; after all, Escovedo’s fought hepatitis-C, gotten married, survived a hurricane, moved a couple thousand miles and picked up some new collaborators for a supergroup backing band. He’s willing to sing to us repeatedly that something is “alright”, but not out of a sense of complacency. Rather, his new songs reveal yearning and desire even as he shows us where to settle into a good spot. It might go without saying, but when the girl with the hazel eyes kisses you, go where she goes. Likewise, Escovedo stays true to his central aesthetic even while pushing some new sounds.

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