A Refreshing Departure from Calexico

I think what most draws me to the music of Calexico is its melodramatic tones underscored by the moving Spanish and Flamenco rhythm. This means that sometimes their music can be dreadfully boring and depressing, while, at other times, it can be simply entrancing, like a long ride into the deserts of Arizona with nothing but the cactii and nothingness, but at the same time, accompanied with a peace that this is life at its most simple. It can be moving and haunting, and jazzy and exciting at the same time.

So, when I had the chance to get a listen into Calexicos’ latest album, it was enough to break me away from doctoral qualifying exams.  Carried to Dust is their latest release, and at first listen, I have to say it’s more American low-fi rock with a texarkana flair than the usual Calexico fare. In fact, some songs are simply non-Calexico, like Two Silver Trees. Sure, it’s catchy, but it sounds like something from the Finn brothers (Crowded House) or even Tears for Fears. Is that bad? I don’t know. I can say there are some very haunting melodies reminiscent of classic Calexico, like Writer’s Minor Holiday and News About William.

If you’re a Calexico fan, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re making your first foray into Calexico, I’d recommend The Black Light, or Garden Ruin. Calexico’s best songs, in my opinion, are Convict Pool and Crystal Frontier (which I believe you can get off of music.download.com).

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