Lucero – Women & Work – Album Review

Published on March 9th, 2012

With a loyal fan base established through years of relentless touring, Lucero is in a position where they could easily maintain the norm and continue to thrive. The band, however, doesn’t seem content resting on their laurels, as their upcoming release “Women & Work” finds them continuing to evolve, yet holding on to what makes their band unique. Those originally drawn in by the band’s country-rock sound with gritty guitars and Ben Nichols’ raspy vocals will still find what they’re looking for on this album, the bands ninth release. However, Lucero seems to have fully embraced their Western Tennessee roots by tossing some slick Memphis sounds into the mix.

Employing horns on nearly every track for “Women & Work,” Lucero draws heavily on the sounds from days gone by with tracks “On My Way Downtown” and “Juniper,” reminiscent of Memphis forefathers like Big Star, while those in search of a more traditional Lucero sound will still find satisfaction in tracks like “Sometimes” and “When I Was Young,” as the band proves they haven’t lost touch with the minor keys and twangy guitars that have long defined their sound. The tracks “Who You Waiting On” and “Like Lightning” ooze soul without coming off as soft, with the former providing an interesting mix of southern rock and power-pop, and the latter being driven by a piano hook that sounds as if it came straight from a prohibition-era barroom.

With the new album comes some new sounds, but with “Women & Work,” Lucero proves that evolving doesn’t have to mean forsaking the past.

Look for “Women & Work” to be released on March 13th, but don’t wait to hear it. Rolling Stone is offering an exclusive stream to hold you over until then.

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  1. Posted by Ronnie Watkins on March 9th, 2012, 16:44

    Awesome review!!! I was excited before but now I’m sticking to my guns and waiting until the release date to get the full weight of the new sound. Longtime Lucero fans like myself have been hesitant about this “new” sound/direction but judging by Mr Crawfords feedback it’s really gonna work. Bring on Tuesday and bring on Lucero!!!!

  2. Posted by MemphisAmpMaker on March 9th, 2012, 17:39

    Known these dudes since the Overton Park free shows and they deserve everything good coming their way. I’ve heard the new album and agree 100% with the writer. This record is poppy but still gritty and raw like we expect. Nice review on a wonderful bunch of dudes. Hope to see more reviews from this guy on the monkey. So proud of Ben and the guys on this record. And Ben, I’ll see you and Jill when mark and I claim our free dinner. Sputnik Lucero! Sorry inside joke guys:()

  3. Posted by Stargoose1977 on March 10th, 2012, 14:50

    Just found this review and site via a search for the album release date. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Didn’t even know a stream was available. Spending my evening with the whiskey soaked sound of Women & Work. Love reading takes like Crawfords on our southern sounds. Not often somebody catches the Big Star vibes as the reviewer did here. Nice eye or should I say ear. Heading across my hometown to see the premiere of the new Big Star film here in Austin at SXSW this week. Wonderful read over coffee this afternoon. Bookmarked the blog and looking forward to more reviews. Nice site guys! And anyone who discovers Lucero thru this or wherever, make DAMN sure you see them live. The boys are back on the road.

  4. Posted by Kathy Loomis on March 10th, 2012, 14:59

    Love This!-! <3
    Lucero is part of our course this Spring and I'm gathering music and reviews fr Mondays course center intro folders this weekend. Big section on Memphis music so in working this review and Lucero into our timeline.

    Go HORN FROGS!!!

    • Posted by WONTGETFOOLEDAGAIN on March 10th, 2012, 15:23

      These guys have always felt Big Star “ish” to me also. What type of course and topic are you teaching? I’m a 2010 graduate of TCU and remember Mr Elms form the dept giving us old clippings of Elvis reviews. My fav course ever!

  5. Posted by Kathy Loomis on March 10th, 2012, 15:18

    Is the stream sorta jumpy at times for anyone else? Also don’t see anymore reviews by this guy on this sight?? Looking for another review of any of Lucero’s previous records to go along beside this one for our group. Maybe we could get a revisit of Rebels and Rogues, Tennessee or TMFW ( That Much Further West ) soon. Love the brevity and “to the point” of this style review.

  6. Posted by Randy on March 16th, 2012, 13:53

    Women & Work is Memphis Rock at it’s best!!!


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