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ALBUN REVIEW / POP

A Chicano Celebration

p ** 1/2 Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals "Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals" Ark 21

May 03, 1997|ENRIQUE LOPETEGUI

The pairing of these two significant Los Angeles bands--both coming out of semi-retirement for the project--yields a musically challenging reflection of the city's multifaceted but largely unknown Chicano rock. The album shows an uncompromising desire to capture musically the triple identity Chicanos live with.

But while there are plenty of good moments here, there are very few strong songs. Curiously, they get away convincingly with the riskiest effort: "Ode to Rosa Lopez," a sort of Chicano rap with enough humor and wit to avoid the commonplace and make us think that the notorious Simpson trial witness wasn't really the embarrassment she was made out to be.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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