Carried to Dust
Thursday, September 18, 2008
For those who know Calexico primarily through its collaborations with other, more notable musicians– including the masterful 2005 EP In the Reins (with Iron & Wine) and last year’s I’m Not There contribution “Goin’ to Acapulco” (featuring My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James)– it might surprise you to learn that the Arizona-based sextet (the seeds of which were planted in 1990) has actually existed far longer than either of the other aforementioned bands.
And while Calexico’s previous studio release– 2006’s Garden Ruin– was an attempt to break into the mainstream, Carried to Dust sheds such polish in favor of a mariachi-meets-folk groove, complete with instrumental showcases (“El Gatillo”), Spanish-language singles (“Inspiración”) and haunting tracks right out of the Dylan/Waits handbook (“The News About William,” easily the album’s standout). And aside from a few misses along the way– the 15-track disc could have easily been trimmed by three or four tracks– Calexico delivers its most resonant release to date.