Calexico: Algiers

(Anti Records)

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After twenty years together, it’s safe to say that Calexico knows what they’re doing. Algiers, the band’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. There’s a certain weight to the album’s content, a haunting presence, but this isn’t a record of mourning. Instead it’s full of life, such as in the track “Fortune Teller.” When singer Joey Burns declares, “And one day I swear I’ll spread my wings/I’m on my way to finer things,” the lyrics could apply to a man or to the city of New Orleans in general.

Calexico still retains their unique Latin touch though. “No Te Vayas” is the most obvious evidence of this since the lyrics are in Spanish, but “Para” employs strategic use of horns and saloon-jaunty piano for a similar effect.

Stand out tracks also include the opener, “Epic,” which is a sprawling instrumental journey that sounds like it belongs on a soundtrack.  “Maybe on Monday” and “Splitter” have straightforward Southern rock sensibility, but they don’t feel out of place. Algiers is subtly crafted and quietly addicting.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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