Tulip Frenzy’s #6 Best Album of 2012 Was Calexico’s “Algiers”

Not for the first time has Calexico, America’s finest purveyors of authentic Southwest musical chili con blood’n’guts, made it on our Top Ten List, and Algiers  was some kind of revelation.  As we noted, “Algiers wasn’t recorded, as you might have expected, in the roiling sandstorm of North Africa, but the Louisiana precinct of the same name.  And how does humidity leaven the Tucson-based band’s first album since the brilliant Carried To Dust from 2008?  It actually doesn’t seem to have affected it much at all.  Algiers may be the most radio friendly Calexico album to date, but it is still filled with enough slickrock mystery to animate a B. Traven novel, with all the humanity, though a lower body count, of something by Cormac McCarthy.  The latter may have migrated, like so many others, from Appalachia to the Deep South to the Southwest Desert, the reverse route of Calexico on at least this album, but he always maintains an essential American talent for mayhem, and so do Calexico, as American as pico de gallo.”

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