by CalexicoCalexico


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Calexico had intended to record the follow-up to 2008's gorgeous Carried to Dust somewhere in Europe, but when those plans fell through, they chose America's most European city, New Orleans, as their destination. The change of scenery is definitely felt in Algiers, named for the neighborhood in which they set up shop. While Joey Burns and John Convertino haven't suddenly thrown Cajun and zydeco into their repertoire, there's still a rich stew (or should that be gumbo?) of sounds here. Calexico are never obvious, and their homage to the Big Easy is neither grandiose nor simple; instead, they incorporate subtle hints of the city's storied musical heritage into their own distinctive style. Algiers is bookended by songs that allude to "The House of the Rising Sun" in their pedal steel melodies; Convertino emphasizes the jazz side of his formidable percussion skills; and "No Te Vayas" is a fitting, and dramatic, tribute to New Orleans' Latin and jazz musical roots. This time, however, Calexico's attitude, while not exactly boisterous, is a lot less studied and restrained than it has been in years, resulting in a more down-to-earth set of songs than they've delivered in quite a while. "Splitter"'s big brass and drums make it louder than the band's past few albums combined; "Sinner in the Sea" strikes sparks with its mix of blues and Latin rhythms, marking the first time in a long time that Burns' voice has risen above a whispery croon; and while "Maybe on Monday"'s bitter but ambiguous farewell to a lover may not be a true murder ballad, it has the sharp sting of one. However, the band still deals largely in shadows and echoes, and Algiers has plenty of those. "Puerto" and the title track feel like they could be a part of Calexico's catalog from way back when, while the single "Para" shows off their eerie, hypnotic side and the lovely Americana pop of "Fortune Teller" and "Hush" recalls Garden Ruin's folky idylls. While these tales of people trying to escape their pasts aren't quite as masterful as Carried to Dust, Algiers has some great songs and a vitality that Calexico should try to hang onto in the future.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/11/2012
Label: Anti
UPC: 0045778720828
catalogNumber: 87208
Rank: 59805

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Calexico   Primary Artist
Joey Burns   Guitar,Piano,Accordion,Keyboards,Vocals,Vibes,Upright Bass
Craig Klein   Trombone
John Convertino   Percussion,Drums,Vibes
Craig Schumacher   Percussion,Mellotron,Wurlitzer
Chris Schultz   Moog Synthesizer
Paul Niehaus   Pedal Steel Guitar
Jason Mingledorff   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Pieta Brown   Background Vocals
Jacob Valenzuela   Trumpet,Vocals,Vibes
Martin Wenk   Trumpet,Accordion,Theremin,Vibes,Wurlitzer,Sampled Strings
Volker Zander   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Tom Hagerman   Violin,Viola
Michael Fan   Violin
Sergio Mendoza   Piano
Jairo Zavala   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Slide Guitar,Bazouki
Chris Lopez   Trombone (Baritone)
Anne Gratz   Cello
Rose Todaro   Violin
Michael Carbajal   Trumpet
Joseph Pagán   Viola

Technical Credits

Joey Burns   Composer,Producer
John Convertino   Composer,Producer
Craig Schumacher   Producer
Chris Schultz   Engineer
Pieta Brown   Composer
Jacob Valenzuela   Composer
Daniel Majorie   Engineer
Jairo Zavala   Engineer
Chris George   Engineer
Ryan Trayte   Artwork

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