If Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez weren’t two fifths of the best band of the last 10 years, the late At the Drive In, it’s highly doubtful they’d have a major label deal and
that they could get people to buy and attempt to understand their highly challenging music. But they’ve earned our respect, so we try, despite the hurdles. For starters, the album is five basic movements spread over 77 minutes, the lyrics are in English and Spanish, and the titles use a decent amount of Latin. Plus, there are lengthy periods of free-form jamming, moody soundscapes and transitional noises. But when they’re making any semblance of a song, it’s truly stunning and mesmerizing. Amongst rapidly funky bass lines, creepy salsa rhythms and an overall prog rock vibe, Cedric’s wickedly gorgeous vocals soar oh-so-high and suck you in. If you broaden your mind and get lost in their zone, the majority of it works quite well. It’s really only track 4 that destroys the momentum, while track 2 “The Widow” is one hell of a beautiful single. Yes, they somehow compromised enough get a
single out of this.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “L’Via L’Viaquez” (Song of the Year Candidate); “The Widow” (Song of the Year Candidate)
Medium Rotation tracks: The rest
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2005 candidate)
(As posted 3/7/05 on davepowersmusic.com)
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