El Vez Boxing With God

The Mexican Elvis is back with another collection of reinterpreted popular songs, à la Weird Al Yankovic. While the curly haired one capitalised on the hit songs of the day and turned them into comedy tunes, El Vez draws on over 40 years of musical inspiration (from young Elvis to the Doors to Vanilla Ice to Ricky Martin) and inserts socially aware lyrics, largely focusing on problems he sees in Southern California's Hispanic communities. As can be guessed from the title, this album takes a more spiritual focus, as the King himself often did on record (Elvis's only Grammy Awards were for his gospel recordings). I never miss an El Vez performance, but I find the elements that make him such a brilliant live act, like his backing band (the Memphis Mariachis), backup singers (the Lovely Elvettes), elaborate costume changes and witty and clever banter with great audience interaction, just don't translate well onto record. So while it's fun to hear favourites like "Rubbernecking" (with lyrics changed to promote safe sex) and the Iggy spun "Lust for Christ," his albums always turn out just okay when compared with his live show. (Sympathy for the Record Industry)