Garden Ruin

Album Review of Garden Ruin by Calexico.

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Garden Ruin


Garden Ruin by Calexico

Release Date: Apr 11, 2006
Record label: Quarterstick / City Slang
Genre(s): Indie, Rock

80 Music Critic Score
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Garden Ruin - Very Good, Based on 2 Critics

The Guardian - 80
Based on rating 4/5

Initially, the comparative straightness of Garden Ruin comes as a shock: what's expected of Calexico is visionary dust-blown soundscapes, rich and strange and inflected with other musics, jazz, Morricone and mariachi brass. Underneath all that, though, there was always solid songwriting, and it's that - not entirely unadorned but certainly stripped back - that's to the fore here. In some ways it's not a million miles from the darker moments of Crowded House (note: this is a good thing).

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10

When a band starts out with an aesthetic as specific as Calexico's, sometimes expanding that sound means incorporating more pop elements into it. And, after years of being known -- accurately or not -- as the indie-mariachi band, Calexico may have felt boxed in by their very distinctiveness. Like Feast of Wire, Garden Ruin finds them moving further into more song-based, immediately accessible territory (their collaborations and performances with bands like Wilco and Iron & Wine may have also inspired them to tone down their theatricality).

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