Algiers

  • Record Label: Anti
  • Release Date: Sep 11, 2012
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Sep 13, 2012
    70
    While these tales of people trying to escape their pasts aren't quite as masterful as Carried to Dust, Algiers has some great songs and a vitality that Calexico should try to hang onto in the future.
  2. Sep 4, 2012
    80
    Algiers is a refined, consistent and beautifully textured set of songs.
  3. It can be taken as a given that any longstanding fans will immediately enjoy Algiers, but for newcomers, this is also a perfect access point to what is one of the most consistent bands of the 2000s.
  4. Sep 12, 2012
    90
    The music on this remarkable record creeps up on you, and subtleties abound; with Burns' vocals mic'd very close and much of the instrumental flourishes occurring deep in the mix, it's an intimate affair.
  5. Sep 4, 2012
    80
    'Algiers' is a Calexico album unlike any other. More forceful, immediate and polished, whilst still possessing the bewitching musical interplays of old.
  6. 50
    Algiers is sort of like the Grand Canyon: it may have some enjoyable attractions, but in the end, you're just staring at a giant hole.
  7. Sep 10, 2012
    70
    In a similar context many other bands might have run dry by now. Not Calexico though, and 'Algiers' serves as a fitting reminder why they haven't.
  8. Sep 4, 2012
    50
    Not a bad album, just a boring one.
  9. Sep 28, 2012
    80
    It is full of unusual clarity and purpose and seems to have benefited from a certain amount of restraint.
  10. Sep 12, 2012
    80
    Instead of taking the easy route of creating a love letter to New Orleans, the band went in the opposite direction, continuing to lead American music into the future.
  11. Sep 21, 2012
    68
    There's no pulling them out of the abyss on this defiantly downcast Calexico record.
  12. Magnet
    Oct 1, 2012
    50
    Algiers appears designed not to define, defy, offend and - most heinously- explore. [No.91, p.53]
  13. Mojo
    Sep 19, 2012
    80
    Easily their most accessible album, Algiers is also Calexico at their most expansive and very, very best. [Oct 2012, p.94]
  14. Sep 4, 2012
    80
    Endlessly listenable and beautifully performed, Algiers is another fine entry into this dependably excellent band's catalogue.
  15. 'Algiers', their seventh album, is far less surface-level appealing, but the sad twang of a pedal steel and Joey Burns' rich lyrical imagery draw you in, and depth and craftsmanship is slowly revealed.
  16. Sep 28, 2012
    80
    Algiers is immense, genuine, and, at times, heartbreakingly beautiful.
  17. Sep 12, 2012
    70
    While there are some fine moments on the recording, one is often left wishing that the duo had chosen to delve deeper into the acoustic soundscapes that they excel at rather than exploring the edges of confessional pop music as they do here.
  18. Sep 17, 2012
    73
    The result is an album that never sounds settled or still, defined not by one or another place but by the tumultuous spaces in between.
  19. Sep 7, 2012
    65
    Algiers is a good record, and though perhaps it could have been great, it's still another fine turn in the winding, ever-shifting road of the Calexico canon.
  20. Q Magazine
    Sep 6, 2012
    80
    All in all, Algiers showcases a band utterly assured and fully aware of their intoxicating potency. [Oct 2012, p.95]
  21. Sep 11, 2012
    91
    What New Orleans does seem to have inspired in Calexico, though, is some of its best songwriting.
  22. Sep 4, 2012
    80
    Algiers, then, is everything we know Calexico to be: lucid with grit and tempered with melody, easily the equal of their career's best work.
  23. 80
    On their sixth album, Calexico finally sound more like a band with memorable, individual songs, than a project dedicated to creating audio soundscapes evocative of the American southwest.
  24. Sep 25, 2012
    80
    New Orleans seeped into this album anyway, with rhythmic crispness and a moody undercurrent; the production has swampy, haunted depths.
  25. Sep 10, 2012
    70
    Algiers isn't so much a portrayal of New Orleans as it is a manifestation of the city's often observed ability to both elevate and weigh heavily on the soul.
  26. Sep 11, 2012
    70
    Live with it a little and Algiers reveals itself to be a warm and compassionate affirmation of the band's deep-rooted DNA, with enough fresh twists to keep this compelling story moving forward.
  27. Sep 4, 2012
    75
    The album gains a languid head of steam as it develops. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.109]
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 1, 2013
    8
    Calexico return with a mix of old and new on their seventh album ‘Algiers’. Never afraid to blend styles it fair to say that the CalexicoCalexico return with a mix of old and new on their seventh album ‘Algiers’. Never afraid to blend styles it fair to say that the Calexico sound is one that is quite recognisable, often sung in different languages and blending folk rock with mariachi horns. Well that is still present here like the Spanish sung ‘No Te Vayas’ but they have once again branched out like the bluesy ‘Sinner in the Sea’ or the sharp strings on ‘Better and Better’. ‘Maybe on Monday’ probably wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by Travis, it’s a catchy love song built around rhythmic drums and a hushed vocal, but overall the album reminds me of Wilco around the time of ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ or ‘A Ghost is Born’ just great song writing peppered with slight experimentation. Musically strong across the twelve tracks on offer this should satisfy fans while hopefully giving them the wider appreciation they deserve. Full Review »
  2. Jan 21, 2013
    9
    On first listen, I thought that this was "just another Calexico album". I enjoy them but have never been sucked in before. But this albumOn first listen, I thought that this was "just another Calexico album". I enjoy them but have never been sucked in before. But this album really does grow on you, and good lord is it beautiful. These melodies will haunt your thoughts, and every listen is an intimate experience. Full Review »
  3. Oct 13, 2012
    7
    This album is less coherent/ consistent than some of their earlier albums. Maybe it has to do with other projects and they couldn'tThis album is less coherent/ consistent than some of their earlier albums. Maybe it has to do with other projects and they couldn't concentrate on a complete album. In general the songs OK but there are a few which surpass others. I particularly like the number 'Hush' because there's a certain tension in it. The title track is also nice however it is not their best Instrumental. Full Review »