Calexico – Algiers (2012) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Calexico – Algiers (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 57:19 minutes | 1,12 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © Anti, Inc.
Recorded: The Living Room Studio, Algiers, Louisiana; Wavelab Studio, Tucson, Arizona; Studio Calexico, Tucson, Arizona

Calexico makes their Anti- debut with the release of Algiers. The album is their first in over four years. Recorded and inspired by New Orleans, Joey Burns and John Convertino bring the edginess of the area to their sound, a sound they have been honing since 1996. Algiers is an evocative and emotional listen rooted in gorgeous textures. This enticing set includes the romantic opener “Epic,” the bluesy “Sinner in the Sea” and the folk gem “Fortune Teller.” Their seventh studio recording proves Calexico has not lost a step.

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. –AllMusic Review by Heather Phares

1 Epic 4:16
2 Splitter 3:30
3 Sinner in the Sea 4:14
4 Fortune Teller 3:57
5 Para 3:53
6 Algiers 3:42
7 Maybe on Monday 3:37
8 Puerto 4:23
9 Better and Better 2:33
10 No Te Vayas 4:15
11 Hush 4:22
12 The Vanishing Mind 3:54
13 Dead Moon 3:37
14 Mi Maquina 3:09
15 Ghost of a River 3:57

John Convertino – Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone
Joey Burns – Vocals, Guitars, Upright Bass, Piano, Vibes, Keys, Accordion
Jacob Valenzuela – Trumpet, Vibes, Vocals
Martin Wenk – Trumpet, Vibes, Wurlitzer, Sampled Strings, Accordion, Theremin
Paul Niehaus – Pedal Steel
Jairo Zavala – Vocals, Slide Guitar, Bazouki, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Volker Zander – Upright Bass, Electric Bass
Craig Schumacher – Mellotron, Percussion, Wurlitzer
Sergio Mendoza – Piano
Michael Carbajal – Trumpet
Michael Fan, Rose Todaro – Violin
Joseph Pagan – Viola
Anne Gratz – Cello
Craig Klein – Trombone
Jason Mingledorff – Tenor and Baritone Saxophone
Pieta Brown – Backing Vocals
Tom Hagerman – Violins, Viola
Chris Lopez – Baritone Trombone
Chris Schultz – Moog Synth for Pedal Steel