Album Reviews

Calexico – Edge of the Sun – Album Review

Calexico – Edge of the Sun – Album Review by Killian Laher
American duo Calexico have been on the go for nearly 20 years, and return with their eight album, Edge of The Sun.  For those familiar with the heavily tex-mex influenced band, it’s very much business as usual, right from the countrified opener Falling From The Sky, which contains very Calexico elements like steel guitar and mariachi horns.  This band can create a mean, dusty old cowboy vibe like no other band, and the moody Bullets & Rocks ticks all these boxes.
There’s a relaxed, comfortable feel to strumalongs like When The Angels Played, Tanning On The Line and Woodshed Waltz.  On the other hand Cumbia de Donde completely hams the jive-Mexico thing up with cheesy bleeps, horns and chants.  It’s a real party tune, but won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.  Neither will be the pair of skittish dance tunes, Beneath the City of Dreams and Moon Never Rises are relentlessly upbeat, the latter featuring a sweet guest vocal from Neko Case.  Better is the mood-setting instrumental Coyoacan Theme, which takes you Morricone-like right across the dusty plains into the desert, albeit side-saddle.
The more understated moments succeed best on this album, the widescreen, strummed ballads Miles From The Sea and World Undone are where this album works best.  Less immediate than many of the other tracks, they reveal themselves gradually rather than “putting out” on first listen.   As accessible an album as any other in Calexico’s catalogue, yet it’s hard not to feel that older albums The Black Light and Hot Rail would serve as both better introductions and purer distillations of the essence of this band.
1. Falling From The Sky
2. Bullets & Rocks
3. When The Angels Played
4. Tanning On The Line
5. Cumbia de Donde
6. Miles From The Sea
7. Coyoacan Theme
8. Beneath the City of Dreams
9. Woodshed Waltz
10. Moon Never Rises
11. World Undone
12. Follow The River

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