There’s one thing that makes ‘1372 Overton Park’, the latest from Memphis-based Lucero, a little more special than their previous 5 studio albums. Horns… horns are what take this their major label debut to new heights. Not to say that there’s any such thing as a weak Lucero record. It’s just that this one is that much better. So much so that it’s sure to turn some heads over on E Street.
The album draws it’s name from an old Memphis loft where the four members of the band lived, practiced, and recorded earlier this decade. Eventually, the building at 1372 Overton Park would be sold and demolished allowing some great memories of the building and a love of Memphis to spawn a rebirth through this recording. While the band is at the absolutely top of their game, it’s the addition of Jim Spake’s horn arrangements that seal the deal.
To get a taste of what I’m talking about listen to “What Are You Willing To Lose” the album’s second track. Ben Nichols raspy voice is the whiskey, the horns the ice, and Roy Berry’s drums are the cold glass that keep it all together.
So what if all my heroes are the losing kind? / We ended up with nothin’, but we put up a fight / And most of it was choices we never asked to choose / The rest of it was luck and now we’ve run out of that too
This is the album I’ve been waiting for all year. Son Volt couldn’t do it. Wilco put up a good effort. Leave it to the Memphis rockers to bring it home. It’s going to take something special to knock ‘1372 Overton Park’ off the top of my favorites for the year. Well done, Lucero. [★★★★★/4.8 — Tom Osborne]
RIYL: Two Cow Garage, Drive-by Truckers, Slobberbone, Glossary, Uncle Tupelo
About the author: Washington, D.C. area web designer by day. Certifiable music freak by night. Husband and father of two by the loving grace of God.