After twenty years together, itâ€™s safe to say that Calexico knows what theyâ€™re doing. Algiers, the bandâ€™s seventh studio LP, casually and expertly spans genres while remaining rooted in delicate acoustic guitar.
The name of the album comes from part of New Orleans where Algiers was recorded. Thereâ€™s a certain weight to the albumâ€™s content, a haunting presence, but this isnâ€™t a record of mourning. Instead itâ€™s full of life, such as in the track â€œFortune Teller.â€ When singer Joey Burns declares, â€œAnd one day I swear Iâ€™ll spread my wings/Iâ€™m on my way to finer things,â€ the lyrics could apply to a man or to the city of New Orleans in general.
Calexico still retains their unique Latin touch though. â€œNo Te Vayasâ€ is the most obvious evidence of this since the lyrics are in Spanish, but â€œParaâ€ employs strategic use of horns and saloon-jaunty piano for a similar effect.
Stand out tracks also include the opener, â€œEpic,â€ which is a sprawling instrumental journey that sounds like it belongs on a soundtrack.Â â€œMaybe on Mondayâ€ and â€œSplitterâ€ have straightforward Southern rock sensibility, but they donâ€™t feel out of place. Algiers is subtly crafted and quietly addicting.