Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.52) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (6/25/92, p.41) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...a quirky yet emotionally gripping album...finds Los Lobos expanding their sound by finding new directions in familiar territory..."
Entertainment Weekly (6/12/92, p.57) - "...Much of KIKO is lovely and charming: it is imbued with a sense of dignity and pride in one's craft, and the band has never sounded better..." - Rating: B
Q (1/93, p.72) - Included in Q's list of the 50 Best Albums Of 1992.
Q (6/92, p.96) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...a wonderfully accessible album that retains their musical roots but embraces a huge range of contemporary sounds..."
Musician (7/92, p.95) - "...there's plenty to savor on KIKO, another charming, imperfect Los Lobos album....they've thrown plenty of wild cards into the deck, concocting a mix that can be strange and thrilling..."
Village Voice (3/2/93, p.5) - Ranked #6 in the Village Voice's list of the 40 Best Albums Of 1992.
Los Lobos: David Hidalgo (vocals, guitar, banjo, violin, accordion, piano, percussion); Cesar Rosas (vocals, guitar); Louie Perez (vocals, drums, guitar, percussion); Conrad R. Lozano (guitarron, bass); Steve Berlin (flute, harmonica, soprano, tenor & baritone saxophones, piano, organ, melodica, synthesizer, percussion).
Additional personnel: Fermin Herrera (Veracruz harp); La Chilapena Brass Band (horns); Mitchell Froom (keyboards); Victor Bisetti (drums, percussion); Pete Thomas, Gary Mallaber (drums); Alex Acuna (percussion).
Personnel: David Hidalgo (vocals, guitar, banjo, violin, accordion, piano, percussion); Louie Pérez (vocals, guitar, drums, percussion); Cesar Rosas (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Conrad Lozano (guitarron, 5-string bass, fretless bass, background vocals); Steve Berlin (flute, harmonica, melodica, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, piano, organ, synthesizer, percussion); Pete Thomas (drums); Alex Acuña, Victor Bisetti (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Tchad Blake.
Audio Remasterer: Dave McNair.
Liner Note Author: Luis Torres.
Recording information: Capitol Studios (12/15/1992); Paul & Mike's Studio (12/15/1992); Sound Factory West Studio (12/15/1992).
Photographer: Dennis Keeley.
On their early albums, Los Lobos effectively combined their Hispanic roots with rock; on this exotic, percussive and experimental album, which is as much a triumph for co-producer Mitchell Froom as it is for the band, they have created a new, distinctive sound.
The brimming mix is complemented by strong lyrics, evocative vocals and memorable melodies. But it is the often eerie, sometimes industrial, rhythm-based production that gives KIKO its unique twist.
Accordions, melodicas, organs and guitarrons all contribute to KIKO's mysterious, spellbinding sound. "Kiko And The Lavender Moon" may be the zenith of Los Lobos' career--a children's lyric presented with moody vocals and an incredibly melodic, percussive track.
Most of the songs are still roots-influenced. "Saint Behind The Glass" and "Rio De Tenampa" retain the band's Hispanic tradition; "That Train Don't Stop Here" is powered by the blues; "Reva's House" and "Whiskey Trail" rock right out of a country jukebox; and "Peace" could have come out of a Grateful Dead songbook. KIKO blends, bends and reimagines all these styles into one of the most original albums in American rock.