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ZZ TOP – La Futura

| 19 October 2012 | Reply

Label: Universal Music
Released: October 2012
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

The beardy three bring their shuffling blues into the new decade with their first album in 8 years, ably assisted by famed “get back to what made you good” producer Rick Rubin.

The most striking thing is that the songs are back.  ZZ’s rhythm section will always swing, The Reverend Willy G will always have the best tone ever, and his vocals – with occasional interjections from bassist Dusty Hill – will always evoke the tumbleweeds blowing through the Texas desert after a bourbon binge, but what’s been lacking in their last few releases were the songs.

Rubin has kept the quality marker high, and sent them back to their classic periods – forget Sharp Dressed Man, tracks like I Gotsta Get Paid, Chartreuse, I Don’t Wanna Lose You, Lose You and Big Shiny Nine bring to mind classic albums like Fandango, Deguello and Tres Hombres (albeit 2012’d to the nines).

There’s a couple of whammo ballads on offer as well – Over You is all Texas heartbreak, and It’s Too Easy Manana is a slow blues which almost does the job.

Not so Flyin’ High, which is a one dimensional pastiche of old Top, but we can excuse them for being a bit entrenched in their ways, I guess.

When a bunch of guys have been ploughing their furrow for 40 something years, achieving success more than once, it shouldn’t be expected that they will reinvent the wheel every time round, but thankfully La Futura avoids pitfalls like the repetition of AC/DC or Status Quo’s 80’s and 90’s albums, or their own post-Eliminator output.  Additionally they go back to the source and concentrate on Billy F Gibbons guitar and voice rather than rely on any kind of studio trickery – which is exactly the right thing they should have done!

Category: CD Reviews

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