Calexico: Carried To Dust


After the breakthrough release/collaboration with Iron & Wine, 2005’s In The Reins and 2006’s full band effort Garden Ruin, Calexico was headed for their definite “soundtrack.”  Carried to Dust, their fifth full length, serves as that picturesque medium, transforming the lonesome southwest landscape, creating the illusion of a lost highway nestling through cactus, ghost towns and the war between good/evil.

Joey Burns’ soft vocals ooze with mystery on the upbeat opener “Victor Jara’s Hands,” and the  hypnotizing “Two Silver Trees.” “The News About William,” features lush strings and Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam rejoins Calexico on the eerie "House of Valparaiso.”

John Convertino’s snare brushes keeps the ominous Calexico sound defined, while mariachi horns and Spanish guest vocalist Amparo Sanchez gives Carried to Dust a romantic flair on “Inpiracion,”   Pieta Brown provides country and western lovesick vocals to “Slowness” and Doug McCombs of Tortoise contributes to the ghostly sounds of “Contention City.”  It is these collaborations that craft Carried To Dust as a multi-voiced affair on this road map of the American Southwest: clearly one of the best albums of 2008.

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