A Mad & Faithful Telling

  • Record Label: Anti
  • Release Date: Mar 18, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Urata's slurred warble leaps into soaring vibrato, and the group's eerie throb of violin, accordion, and sousaphone has never felt so cinematic.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    It's a rare group that can make you wistful while wielding a caravans worth of instruments like a theremin, accordian, and sousaphone. [28 Mar 2008, p.67]
  3. Devotchka's captured the sound of a new world order.
  4. Alternative Press
    Their songs have a weight beyond the bell and whistles, retaining your interest once the shock of new sounds and the novelty of genre-hopping is gone. [Apr 2008, p.152]
  5. 80
    A sultry brew of Gypsy, Mexican, and pop ingredients that's adorably silly and unexpectedly moving. [Mar 2008, p.100]
  6. Uncut
    A Mad & Faithful Telling is an impeccably titled album [Apr 2008, p.88]
  7. Bouncing from Mexico City to Prague to Milan to Denver over the course of ten songs, DeVotchKa's fourth full-length shows a band aging gracefully and eccentrically.
  8. Denver-based Devotchka delivers another batch of aching, spacious and histrionic tunes on A Mad and Faithful Telling.
  9. Everything is worth hearing, but frenetic waltz-meets-hora dance track Comrade Z is a definite standout. This isn’t quite as fun as Gogol’s music, but it’s more thoughtful than DeVotchKa’s Gypsy punk brethren.
  10. Their best songs are epic and emotional, and range from the sweeping strings and south-of-the-border brass of 'Along the Way' to the European Gypsy influences of 'Comrade Z.'
  11. Something mysteriously blocks this very good record from being great.
  12. If the choice comes down to being obvious or oblique, the band could take a forty-five minute saunter down the road less musically traveled. When they do, I'm hedging that the result will be a masterwork. Until then, releases like A Mad and Faithful Telling will be as engaging as anything that has come before, but will only offer hints at what these colorful characters might do when they finally release the catapult.
  13. Faithful Telling remains a strong, deliciously eclectic album.
  14. 'Basso Profundo,' sticks out like a sore thumb, overindulging the band's penchant for melting-pot quirk before the listener's had a chance to acclimate, throwing off the balance of an otherwise perfectly paced album.
  15. A Mad & Faithful Telling, however, comes off as their most focused and researched work yet, incorporating traditional and pop culture aspects without getting cluttered or seeming like they’re trying too hard to find a niche.
  16. Under The Radar
    DeVotchKa pulls off their melting pot persona. [Spring 2008, p.82]
  17. While A Mad and Faithful Telling--the band’s first album of all original material since 2004’s "How it Ends"--doesn’t exactly break new ground, it offers a much fuller realization of dynamic and structural sensitivity.
  18. DeVotchKa's fifth album, A Mad and Faithful Telling, is an accomplished if meandering variation on its punk-rock mariachi horns and Roma rhythms.
  19. Although Nick Urata can't match pipes with Richard Hawley, a plus in a way, he's hawking mellifluous overstatement flavored with a nostalgia far enough past its sell-by date that it stinks a little.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. SamJ
    Jul 25, 2009
    It is not just the vocals of "A Mad & Faithful Telling" that hit the spot, but (as of every DeVotchKa album) the music itself is good enough It is not just the vocals of "A Mad & Faithful Telling" that hit the spot, but (as of every DeVotchKa album) the music itself is good enough to achieve a '8' . A whole instrumental version of this album would be overall postive, and then there is the vocals, that give it one extra push. There is a vast amount of songs with vocals which are amazing, then the short instrumental tracks like "Comrade Z" which sounds amazing on their own. You notice yourself not thinking " when are the vocals going to begin?" and just enjoying the music. I think "Basso Profundo" will be one of my top tens this year. Full Review »
  2. SteveO.
    Apr 11, 2008
    Overall its a decent album. He has a unique voice. Im looking forward to a future release.
  3. MathewP.
    Mar 29, 2008
    Amazing album. Love the diversity and the range of sounds used here. Transiliterator is my song of the year so far!