To observe that Calexico have, on recent albums, become noticeably more stone-faced and sensibly adult might invite the question: when were they not? Well, the Arizona ensemble’s marriage of desolate country-rock and mariachi music never pitched itself at the youth – but there used to be blaring trumpets and daring attitude too. ‘Algiers’, their seventh album, is far less surface-level appealing, but the sad twang of a pedal steel and Joey Burns’ rich lyrical imagery draw you in, and depth and craftsmanship is slowly revealed. ‘Para’ might produce curious converts, if only for sounding weirdly like ‘Paranoid Android’, while ‘Puerto’ is the border-jumping highlight.
- Record label: City Slang
- Release date: 10 Sep, 2012