Algiers is the seventh studio album from Calexico, it's a dark and brooding album majestically carved from elements of Tex Mex, country and soul music. It's an album that has its beauty etched in the darkness of the Texas plains, wistful and melancholy it's a joyous listen. This is a band that is no stranger to recording great albums, their second album The Black Light was a major critical success on its release, an ode to the desert of Arizona and the vibrant sounds of Mexico.
The opening track Epic gives a glimpse of what is to come, set on a barren musical landscape, gentle horns drift in amplifying the sense of unease.
Nights we hide between the walls,
And voices leading on the ground
Arms reaching out, hoping for the chance to start
Splitter is more defiant, with a strong musical pulse,
One hand on the hammer, one foot by the door
Pushed by the wind, fed by the need for moving on
Moving on to nowhere
The mournful Sinner in the Sea has a dramatic apocalyptic feel, the ends of the world meeting somewhere between New Orleans and Havana. Combining elements of cajun and tex mex to create a red sky vista, the band have that ability to convey a story. Fortune Teller speaks of coming off that dark road, spreading one's wings and finding a way home,
I'm walking with the fortune teller
I can see my own way home
But I don't like this dark road anymore
And I don't want to be alone for long.
Algiers that retains a dreamy darkness at it's core, the band embellish with flourishes of sorrowful horn lines, the album creates a vista of badlands and disreputable characters. It's a rich mix of sounds country laden tex mex delivered in a soulful tapestry.