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Algiers

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Editors’ Notes

Calexico takes its Great American Southwest sound to New Orleans for Algiers, an album that's among the strongest of the duo's long, illustrious career. Joey Burns and John Covertino initially intended to record the album in Europe, but settled on America's most European city. The band still manages to ignore whatever you might imagine a trip to the Big Easy would do to its music. Instead, Calexico focuses on songwriting, bursting past its usual aural soundscapes to a sound where the hooks are aplenty and the playing is live and excited. "Epic" and "Splitter" immediately establish the band's fresh enthusiasm. "Sinner in the Sea" works a more familiar Calexico voicing, while "Fortune Teller" excels with the grit of its best work, yet with new energy. Sure, "Para" and the title track also come close to Calexico's vintage sound, and "Hush" is reminiscent of its work with Iron & Wine, but the melodies just explode. The duo has clearly decided to seek new ground and has done so with convincing authority. The album's deluxe edition includes three bonus tracks, including the more conventional (for Calexico) "Mi Maquina" and the countrified "Ghost of a River". 

Customer Reviews

Ms

I haven't stopped listening to this album since I bought it a couple of days ago. It does not disappoint, Joey Burns' amazing vocals and lyrics along with beautiful arrangements and melodies do not fail to disappoint. Slightly more balladic than some previous albums, it is immensely listenable and I Love it!

The album that got me into Calexico

Highly recommended…you will not regret it!

A year ago, I bought this album and it led to an absolute obsession with Calexico, which has been costly, but entirely worth it. Their back catalogue is superb. As well as the 'official' albums, there are a couple of great soundtracks and several 'unofficial' albums (not available on iTunes, but via their website) which include some fantastic atmospheric and experimental stuff as well as some live sets.

However, back to Algiers. Recorded in New Orleans - drawing on Cuban, Latin, South Western and European influences. There are great songs on here such as 'Maybe On Monday', 'Fortune Teller' etc, but also the mariachi trumpets and delightful instrumentals such as the title track. They are at the top of their game, here.

Have a listen to the samples. I'm sure you'll want to purchase.

Biography

Formed: Tucson, AZ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Calexico take their name from a town on the border of California and Mexico, and the title certainly fits the band, who've been mixing musical approaches and cultural perspectives with elan ever since group leaders Joey Burns and John Convertino began working together. Fusing the dusty sounds of the American Southwest with spaghetti western soundtracks, Mexican mariachi themes, vintage surf music, cool jazz, and a broad spectrum of Latin influences, Calexico are an eclectic ensemble whose work is...
Full bio