Album: Calexico, Selections from Road Atlas 1998-2011 (Quarterstick/City Slang) (4/5)


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The Independent Culture

Over the past 14 years, Calexico have released eight limited-edition tour CDs, available only at their shows, but now compiled together as a 12 LP vinyl box set, Selections from Road Atlas 1998-2011, of similar scarcity.

This compilation whets the appetite, comprising material never included on studio albums, ranging from the darkly mysterious "Man Made Lake" to the blaxploitation funk groove "Detroit Steam", the Byrdsy instrumental "Waitomo", the samba-funk "Crystal Frontier", and a typically Calexicoid version of the standard "All the Pretty Horses". The band's trademark blend of guitars, vibes, organ and lap steel are embellished here and there with smudges of electronics, New Orleans horns and poignant strings; though some of the instrumentals do sound more like backing tracks in search of a vocal.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Glowing Heart of the World; Man Made Lake; Crystal Frontier