Lucero – “Should’ve Learned By Now”

Album Reviews | Feb 24th, 2023

Lucero - "Should've Learned By Now"
Image used with permission for review purposes

Record Label: Liberty & Lament
Genre: Country/Punk/Rock
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Memphis’s one and only Lucero is back with “Should’ve Learned By Now,” so let’s see what lessons those boys have—or haven’t—picked up, shall we?

“One Last F.U.” is a happy-go-lucky take about telling someone where to shove it, with vocalist Ben Nichols bringing the pleasant angst, as he always does. “Macon If We Make It” stacks up with some of their best tracks on older albums like “Nobody’s Darlings,” with the following track “She Leads Me” a reminder that Lucero, in addition to their many tunes about drinking and partying, still knows a good love song. “At the Show” offers a reverse-time warp in which Nichols sings about younger days of catching up with a favorite special someone at a concert. The awesomeness keeps right on coming with “Nothing’s Alright” and “Raining for Weeks.”

“Buy a Little Time” may be the lone misfire, as it takes little chances and isn’t especially inventive. However, the title track “Should’ve Learned By Now” is greatness, mixing the band’s older sounds and infusing them with some new verve and energy as the narrator looks back on mistakes made…and those to come. “Drunken Moon” may be one of the best drinking-and-reflecting songs the band has ever released (and that’s saying something), weaving a tale of regret and redemption that is of a piece with “On the Way Back Home” from 2006’s “Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers.” “Time to Go Home” brings it all to a close in fine fashion—and all but begs you to start the album from the top a second time.

Fun, sad, celebratory, measured, driving yet taking its time, “Should’ve Learned By Now” proves yet again that Lucero might well be America’s most underrated band.

Notable Tracks: At the Show, One Last F.U., Should’ve Learned By Now, Drunken Moon, Macon if We Make It
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