Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Albums2010 #64: Trans-Continental Hustle

Well, for starters, I owe an old friend- let's call him The Barrel Roller an apology for taking this long to discover the charms and general face-melting awesomeness that is Gogol Bordello.  Described in Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge) as 'gypsy punk' my first reaction after I listened to this album was:  'where have these people been all my life?'  Then, thanks to the magic of Spotify, I listened to this album again.  And again.  And I probably will do so again at some point in the very near future.

Trans-Continental Hustle marks the major label debut of Gogol Bordello and it's a damn good one-  produced by Rick Rubin (who helped give Johnny Cash something of a late career renaissance with his series of American Recordings) the album is heavily influenced by the sounds and music of Brazil, which lead singer Eugene Hutz has called home since 2008. 

The album opens with 'Pala Tute' which grabbed my attention immediately with it's heavy gypsy flavors (guitars and accordians) and Eastern European flair- but the Brazillian influences become obvious with the next song, 'My Companjera' and especially on probably my favorite track of the album, the Marley-esque 'Raise The Knowledge.'   (Though songs like 'Uma Menina, Uma Cigana' and 'In The Meantime In The Pernambuco' should make the Brazillian connection obvious.)  'Immigraniada (We Comin' Rougher)' brings a more traditional punk vibe into the mix for a pleasant change of pace. 

It's really hard to put into words exactly how awesome I found this.  Gogol Bordello, with this album, have taken genres of music from across the world that I dig but don't really listen to all that much and blended them together to make an entirely unique sound that's fascinating and a lot of fun to listen too.  Will I be listening to more albums from Gogol Bordello?  Bet your ass I will.  

Overall:  A masterful blend of music from across the world that turns into something unique and truly awesome to listen too.  I can't remember the last time I enjoyed listening to an album this much and they should be appointment listening for anyone out there wanting to try something new.   Listen to these guys:  you won't regret it.  **** out of ****

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