Review: Calexico - Carried To Dust


7 juin 2009, 22h09m

Calexico - Carried To Dust

1. Victor Jara's Hands
2. Two Silver Trees
3. The News About William
4. Sarabande In Pencil Form
5. Writer's Minor Holiday
6. Man Made Lake
7. Inspiracion
8. House Of Valparaiso
9. slowlness
10. Bend to the Road
11. El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)
12. Fractured Air (Tornado Watch)
13. Falling From Sleeves
14. Red Blooms
15. Contention City

Calexico has consistently proven to be one of the most creative, original and also most underrated bands in the world. With their 6th official album they continue to portray a wide array of musical influences performed by only the highest of standards.

Victor Jara's Hands
The opening track of the album paints a cinematographic picture with the mood-setting mix of americana and mexicana oriented music and change from english to spanish in the lyrics is subtle yet apparent for the song. When you close your eyes you can see pictures form in front of you that make you envision the music.

Two Silver Trees
The eponymous Two Silver Trees is an absolute highlight in today's music. The intro is full of mystique and gently eases you into the world of musical discoveries. The crafty vocals and the dynamic music are slowly creeping upon you to not only catch you by surprise but it reels you in a little more each time you hear the track. With influences that range from all over the globe, this song is pure gold.

The News About William
The News About William works like a southern influenced folk-storytelling song. The lyrics and the mood go hand in hand as the song continues to tell you the story like musical poetry that rivals Simon & Garfunkel's heyday folk/rock storytelling.

Sarabande In Pencil Form
Calexico shows its classical influences in this instrumental intermezzo. For 40 seconds long we are treated to a little bit of lush and gentle music to bring us to the next track.

Writer's Minor Holiday
The band goes a little more uptempo in this next track. With a steady beat and recognizable sound, this is one of the commercially most attractive songs on the album. While Calexico can hardly be described as a radio type of band, this song could actually get some decent airplay if listeners are willing to give it a chance.

Man Made Lake
The ultimate highlight on the album is without a doubt the epic Man Made Lake in which Calexico shows all their worth. The emotionally laden build-up and stellar vocals are combined with a sound that reflects something that comes as close to perfection as a band can possibly come. Calexico teaches us what epic songwriting is while they are true to their own character.

The mexican influence is apparent in this track. The Spanish lyrics and the mexicana sound fit the band well, and while it is a very decent song it seems slightly out of place in this slot on the album.

House of Valparaiso
While the song is very exciting the first couple of times you listen to it, the initial excitement dies down slightly after awhile. The song still has the spheric, alternative breath that Calexico does so well, but it misses that final bit of spectacular release or intriguing or complex dynamics.

They pick it up again with Slowness as they fit the music perfectly with the lyrics. Calexico brings this track alive with a strong build-up and emotionally performed vocals (note the accompanying vocals which are a great fit) and subtly complex instrumentals.

Bend To The Road
Bend To The Road is a strong track with it's way to convince you a little more each time you hear it. The breathy vocals and haunting instrumentals the track is well-composed and very strongly performed.

El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)
Another mexicana-influenced track, but unlike Inspiracion, El Gatillo does fit on the album and in this slot very well. The instrumental track comes alive under the virtuoso performance by the band, while the haunting sounds that are layered in give you a chance to explore the track from start to finish.

Fractured Air (Tornado Watch)
The percussion and drums have a more prominent role in Fractured Air which provides for a song with more body. The mysterious vocals and somewhat catchy guitar riffs make for a song that is both interesting and excellent. The tempo is controlled wonderfully and the band continues to play on a very high level. Another highlight on a strong album.

Falling From Sleeves
The short but nice Falling From Sleeves makes a surprising appearance on the record and despite the short length of the track you can say that the build-up is somewhat epic, even though it stays gentle. The all-instrumental track delivers a nice breath of fresh air among the heavier emotion displayed on this album.

Red Blooms
Red Blooms should definitely be released as a single as it has somewhat a classic feel to it. It flows well and captivates many a listener through its strong vocal performance and subtle musical arrangement. Also it might be the least alternative track on the album, which makes it easily the most accessible song, but still with that Calexico sound all through the song.

Contention City
The album is concluded by Contention City which stands up to the task of being a closer. The suspenseful intro is followed by a slow and emotional build-up that works its way into an epic song, be it somewhat free. The peaceful mystery makes this track a solid closer that leaves the listener on a satisfied note.

"Carried To Dust" is an album with creativity, diversity and the fruits of hard labor. Calexico brings out the very best in themselves to deliver this high-quality and impressive piece of art that will forever be a cornerstone in alternative music.


  • JohnySaskatunes

    Excellent review! I love this album as well.

    21 août 2009, 16h42m
Voir les commentaires
Ajouter un commentaire. Connectez-vous à ou inscrivez-vous (c'est gratuit).