2012: 15 of the Best. #5 …December 17, 2012
5. Alejandro Escovedo – Man of the World
From: Big Station
Released: June 5, 2012
Buy it: Here
Alejandro’s been working with famed produced Tony Visconti for three albums now, but it’s this year’s Big Station where the two finally seemed to achieve the vision they’ve been aiming for since Real Animal. I’ve been a big fan of Escovedo since his stunning 2001 album, A Man Under the Influence, and Big Station is easily the best selection of songs he’s put together since (this song’s guitar lick is also the best since “Castanets”). I think Spoon drummer Jim Eno also deserves some credit for his behind-the-desk work on the album, which makes it sound very in-your-face and tight. The funny thing is that it’s the great thing about rock and roll (and even punk that Escovedo grew up loving) that makes it work—simplicity. The chorus on “Man of the World” is simply Escovedo’s gang repeating “Oh yeah!” Elsewhere on the album, two-word choruses also play a prominent part, but there’s a fire and rumble in this particular track that just hooks you and makes you wanna boogie. He sounds excited and like he means it for the first time in a while. You could find songs here and there to love on his last decade’s worth of output, but “Man of the World” is the fabulous intro to a wholly satisfying album. That means a lot in an age where albums typically are less cohesive pieces than they should be.