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A Mad and Faithful Telling (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Like the stately, mature parents of Gogol Bordello, DeVotchKa have created a unique niche by mixing eastern and western traditions into the same pot. A Mad and Faithful Telling is their first release since the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack expanded their fan base tenfold, and it continues the group's unique cultural mishmash, sounding like a Morrissey-fronted Calexico playing norteño tunes in an Eastern European ballroom. It's a veritable circus of styles, none of which are normally associated with Colorado's musical climate. But that doesn't stop DeVotchKa from turning in a performance that is at once elegant and wildly passionate, with bandleader Nick Urata leading the pack like a half-drunken opera school dropout. His vocals are uniquely stunning, interlaced with bits of Spanish and brimming with vibrato. With help from his three bandmates and a five-piece string section, he turns even the most somber lyrics ("So this is the city? So this is progress? How can something so pretty become such a mess?") into the sort of sweeping serenades that inspire listeners to raise a wine glass, toast the stereo, and howl along. Elsewhere, the group flirts with spaghetti western music, turning songs like "Head Honcho" and "Undone" into potential candidates for the next Quentin Tarantino film. And lest anyone question DeVotchKa's chops, A Mad and Faithful Telling also includes two lively instrumental numbers: "Comrade Z," which blends mariachi horns with a gypsy-jig beat, and "Strizzalo," an Italian-styled waltz with accordion, tuba, and romantic violins. Bouncing from Mexico City to Prague to Milan to Denver over the course of ten songs, DeVotchKa's fourth full-length shows a band aging gracefully and eccentrically.

Customer Reviews

Devotchka are back

If Rufus Wainwright had been raised in the Ukraine... At last a sound that isn't fuzzed guitars and boys moaning about nightclub pickups and not being able to dance. Maybe if Alex Turner had been raise in Ukraine... Beautiful album. Listen to 'Blessing In Disguise' and weep.

JEWISH WEDDINGS NEVER SOUNDED BETTER!

This is the music you have heard at Jewish weddings when drunk; or perhaps when played by drunk Jewish wedding bandsmen and women. The spirit of that exultatory tone; the folkloric inspirations and the whimsical touches of genius simply make this album of surreal tunes a surreal hoot. Listen once and be compelled to listen a million times thereafter. And, they should be essential listening at any wedding, barmitzvah or funeral for that matter!

OMG! even better than How it Ends!

Repeat,Repeat,Repeat that's what you'll be doing with this latest offering from DeVotchka- It's totally bonkers but I can't stop listening to it. From track to track you switch from hurling yourself around your living room/car/work place dancing like a loon to weeping at the heart ache and sadness it's truly amazing, when people hear it for the first time they think you've lost the plot but it's not long until they are joining you on the rollercoster of emotions that is this work of art-well done DeVotchka xxx

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Denver, CO

Genre: Alternative

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

The Gypsy-tinged quartet DeVotchKa were formed in Denver, CO by multi-instrumentalists Nick Urata (vocals, guitar, trumpet), Tom Hagerman (violin, accordion), Jeanie Schroder (sousaphone, bass), and percussionist Shawn King. Supporting musicians rotated in and out of the eclectic group's lineup, contributing such diverse sounds as strings and bazoukis. While some described DeVotchKa's sound as polka-rock or circus music, the band was actually a cross-pollination of numerous influences, including...
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A Mad and Faithful Telling (Bonus Track Version), DeVotchKa
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