10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With a sonic palette ranging from sorrowful to celebratory, and musical roots as diverse as flamenco, mariachi, gypsy and eastern European folk, Denver’s eccentric DeVotchKa use a number of instruments unfamiliar in the indie rock soundscape: sousaphone, Theremin and bouzouki, to name a few. A gifted vocalist, Nick Urata sings like his life (or the state of the free world) is hanging in the balance on frantic tracks like “Basso Profundo” and “Head Honcho,” but he croons like Wainwright with an earthier, more organic finish on tracks like the gorgeous “Along the Way,” with its soulful brass chorus, and “Transliterator,” where Smith’s naked emotion pulses freely atop spry pianos and strings. “Comrade Z” is an orgy of horns and violins tangling in a manic, Eastern European folk arrangement, while “Blessing in Disguise” waltzes on airy pianos, crisp snare drums and distant, clouded guitar strings. The regretful, flamenco-flavored “Undone” and the sousaphone-inflected instrumental “Strizzalo” are wonderful surprises, and closing track “A New World” is a beautiful bauble, a translucent and elegant piece of music with an ethereal, weightless feel; it’s a real showcase for Urata’s stunning vocals.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With a sonic palette ranging from sorrowful to celebratory, and musical roots as diverse as flamenco, mariachi, gypsy and eastern European folk, Denver’s eccentric DeVotchKa use a number of instruments unfamiliar in the indie rock soundscape: sousaphone, Theremin and bouzouki, to name a few. A gifted vocalist, Nick Urata sings like his life (or the state of the free world) is hanging in the balance on frantic tracks like “Basso Profundo” and “Head Honcho,” but he croons like Wainwright with an earthier, more organic finish on tracks like the gorgeous “Along the Way,” with its soulful brass chorus, and “Transliterator,” where Smith’s naked emotion pulses freely atop spry pianos and strings. “Comrade Z” is an orgy of horns and violins tangling in a manic, Eastern European folk arrangement, while “Blessing in Disguise” waltzes on airy pianos, crisp snare drums and distant, clouded guitar strings. The regretful, flamenco-flavored “Undone” and the sousaphone-inflected instrumental “Strizzalo” are wonderful surprises, and closing track “A New World” is a beautiful bauble, a translucent and elegant piece of music with an ethereal, weightless feel; it’s a real showcase for Urata’s stunning vocals.

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