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Alejandro Escovedo|La Cruzada

La Cruzada

Alejandro Escovedo

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Alejandro Escovedo's father was born in Mexico but left home as a young man to come to the United States in search of a better life for himself and his family. The victories and defeats that came his way are a vital part of Escovedo's backstory that has informed much of his work, and never as strongly as on his 2018 effort The Crossing. The Crossing is a concept album that follows two young men -- Diego from Saltillo, Mexico and Salvo from Southern Italy -- who were drawn to America through the images they saw in punk rock, film noir, and beat literature, only to find the land of their dreams far more complex and less forgiving than they imagined. A thoughtful, deeply powerful meditation on the immigrant experience, The Crossing is one of the finest albums in Escovedo's illustrious catalog, and in 2020 he offered a different take on the material with the release of La Cruzada. For La Cruzada, Escovedo worked with Alex Ruiz, leader of the Texas-based Rock en Español band Del Castillo, to translate the songs into Spanish, with Ruiz then cutting new Spanish-language vocals for The Crossing's backing tracks. (Escovedo believed that Ruiz would sing the Spanish lyrics with greater fluency than he could.) La Cruzada has a different feel than The Crossing that goes beyond a simple Spanish translation; Ruiz's vocals are strong but give the characters a different, more dramatic tone than in Escovedo's slightly more nuanced performances, and by putting these stories into a different tongue, it puts Diego and Salvo's otherness in America into far stronger relief. It also adds layers to the album's interpretation of Joe Ely's "Silver City," as Escovedo trades off verses sung in English with Ruiz's responses in Spanish, making the protagonist's disappearance into a land of broken promises deeper and more cutting. Even if the music remains the same -- a superb collaboration between Escovedo and the Italian rock band Don Antonio -- La Cruzada is something deeper and more resonant than a simple Spanish-language retread of a two-year-old album. It tells the same story, but with just enough differences to make it connect in a genuinely different way, and this variation adds layers to the already satisfying themes of the original album. Even fans not fluent in Spanish will find it a rewarding experience.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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La Cruzada

Alejandro Escovedo

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1
Andaré
00:00:53

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

2
Pasos Por Las Sombras
00:04:49

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

3
Tejas Es Mi Madre
00:03:01

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

4
Equipaje Adolescente
00:03:25

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

5
Algo Azul
00:04:10

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

6
Bandido Para Ti
00:03:26

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

7
Amor Puro
00:02:38

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

8
Esperándome
00:03:17

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

9
Cuantas Veces
00:04:29

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

10
Lluvia De Flor De Cerezo
00:03:37

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

11
Sónica USA
00:02:20

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

12
Rio Navidad Explicit
00:03:45

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

13
Ciudad Plateada
00:05:28

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Eiffel Tower Music

14
Furia Y Fuego
00:02:13

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

15
Volador
00:03:08

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

16
MC Overload
00:03:04

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

17
La Cruzada
00:05:19

Alejandro Escovedo, Composer, MainArtist - Antonio Gramentieri, Composer - Songs O'Routie (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 Yep Roc Records 2021 Songs O'Routie (BMI)

Album Description

Alejandro Escovedo's father was born in Mexico but left home as a young man to come to the United States in search of a better life for himself and his family. The victories and defeats that came his way are a vital part of Escovedo's backstory that has informed much of his work, and never as strongly as on his 2018 effort The Crossing. The Crossing is a concept album that follows two young men -- Diego from Saltillo, Mexico and Salvo from Southern Italy -- who were drawn to America through the images they saw in punk rock, film noir, and beat literature, only to find the land of their dreams far more complex and less forgiving than they imagined. A thoughtful, deeply powerful meditation on the immigrant experience, The Crossing is one of the finest albums in Escovedo's illustrious catalog, and in 2020 he offered a different take on the material with the release of La Cruzada. For La Cruzada, Escovedo worked with Alex Ruiz, leader of the Texas-based Rock en Español band Del Castillo, to translate the songs into Spanish, with Ruiz then cutting new Spanish-language vocals for The Crossing's backing tracks. (Escovedo believed that Ruiz would sing the Spanish lyrics with greater fluency than he could.) La Cruzada has a different feel than The Crossing that goes beyond a simple Spanish translation; Ruiz's vocals are strong but give the characters a different, more dramatic tone than in Escovedo's slightly more nuanced performances, and by putting these stories into a different tongue, it puts Diego and Salvo's otherness in America into far stronger relief. It also adds layers to the album's interpretation of Joe Ely's "Silver City," as Escovedo trades off verses sung in English with Ruiz's responses in Spanish, making the protagonist's disappearance into a land of broken promises deeper and more cutting. Even if the music remains the same -- a superb collaboration between Escovedo and the Italian rock band Don Antonio -- La Cruzada is something deeper and more resonant than a simple Spanish-language retread of a two-year-old album. It tells the same story, but with just enough differences to make it connect in a genuinely different way, and this variation adds layers to the already satisfying themes of the original album. Even fans not fluent in Spanish will find it a rewarding experience.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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