Music Track By Track Reviews

Calexico – Carried To Dust (track by track review)

61Xr60BIFpL. SS500  - Calexico – Carried To Dust (track by track review)

After a very blah last album (Garden Ruin), can Calexico return to form?

  1. Victor Jara’s Hands – 6.5/10 (This song has a similar start to one of my favorite Calexico tracks “Quattro” but from there it takes a nose dive into adult contemporary tex-mex)
  2. Two Silver Trees – 7.5/10 (The first single is a decent one that plods along at a reasonable pace. What lifts it up are the wispy vocals throughout, as well as the lush chorus.)
  3. The News About William – 6.0/10 (I think this song would have been done a little more justice with a little more raw/stripped down feel to it. The one bad thing about the “new” Calexico sound is the overproduction takes away from the lonely atmosphere of the tunes.)
  4. Sarabande In Pencil Form – 5.0/10 (Neither offensive, nor really even there. I can’t quite figure out why this :40 sec piece is on here)
  5. Writer’s Minor Holiday – 7.5/10 ( I really dig this tune. The ghostly vocals really give it a dirty/dark western feel. I also love the distorted guitar that is dabbled at just the right amount.)
  6. Man Made Lake – 6.5/10 (This is another track that does little to stick out of the pack. The distorted guitar at the end isn’t loud enough to have much of an impact on this average song.)
  7. Inspiracion – 5.5/10 (I have noticed that their songs with Spanish lead singers seem to be getting worse. This is very lame duck in a freshman high school spanish class kinda way.)
  8. House of Valparaiso – 7.5/10 (The reason that I like this song is because of the dreamy bridge that sounds like it was sung in a tunnel. Calexico has always been able to evoke the lonely western.)
  9. Slowness – 8.5/10 (By far the best tune on the album. I was really excited to hear it at first with the great female vocals complementing Joey Burns’ voice. A sad, sad slow waltz that makes you heart melt a little each time.)
  10. Bend In The Road – 7.0/10 (Sounding like it belongs on one of the numerous tour ep’s that the band releases, it doesn’t quite seem to fit with the “big sound” feel of the rest of the album.)
  11. El Gatillo – 6.0/10 (Another song that doesn’t really lend itself to the new Calexico sound, it sticks out a little bit. It would have done fine on Hot Rail but in this context it drags a bit.)
  12. Fractured Air – 5.5/10 (What has happened to the Joey Burns that wrote great songs? Has he been kidnapped? This is another bland song. None of the songs are bad, but they aren’t memorable either.)
  13. Falling From Sleeves – 7.5/10 (A very pleasant instrumental with nice strings. I would love for the band to do a whole album in this vein. Reminds me of their “Friends of Dean Martinez” material)
  14. Red Blooms – 7.0/10 (The band used to write such great hooks and I get wrapped up in the verse, but when the chorus comes it goes “blah”. The chorus used to be the tipping point into greatness for them, now it has become an abyss of mediocre sound.)
  15. Contention City – 6.0/10 (Taking a page out of the spooky/dream like “For Carnation” book, the album closer is put in place to help you wash out any hope of frantic repeat listens of the album.)

Overall Score – 6.6/10 (Better than “Garden Ruin”, but not a load better)

Check out my “Ranking Them” of Calexico – Link

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