Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Califone brings back the bayou, hides away the keys

The bayou beat has brought me back to life and with it the realization that the dust has collected upon the sticky sweat surface of my slumbering soul. My eyes open and I watch the room come to life, the dirt falling from the rafters upon the working units of spiraling gears and forgotten stopwatches, hidden souvenirs from yesteryears…

Califone’s latest release, Roots & Crowns, finds the band wrapping up their songs in limitless acoustic fine tunings and mechanical interactions. This mixture is so finely spun that there is no question to the reality between the actual finger workings and the digitally tweaking accessories that Califone puts forth – there is only the sound. Passing over this question of ‘how’d they do that?’ allows for a fully enveloped listening experience away from the usual squint and awe of usual technical production.

Roots & Crowns takes full strides in covering the emotional spectrum leaving room for the fearful and hidden as well as the humble and hopeful. “The Orchid” will be sure to claim the early Sunday morning lovebirds as they awake in armfuls of one another. “Pink & Sour,” with its encompassing beat that reverses direction without notice, is sure to escape from the decomposing wood of an overgrown bayou hut. If nothing else, Califone has shown that they are adequate at creating placement pieces, songs of template shifts guided by the steady compass of Tim Rutili’s voice. Oh how sweet a journey is Roots & Crowns.

CalifonePink & Sour

CalifoneThe Orchids
Buy Califone’s Roots & Crowns at eMusic with an exclusive bonus track “Ladders.”

I think Califone is the band that Iron & Wine was supposed to make an album with. I guess Calexico was close enough.


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