Carried To Dust

Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Carried to Dust isn't just one of Calexico's most expansive albums, it's also their most balanced, channeling their experience and potential into a subtly dramatic, chiaroscuro tour de force.
  2. It’s tempting to think of Carried to Dust as a companion piece to "Feast of Wire."...And, like that distinguished predecessor, this one is a beauty from start to finish.
  3. Ultimately, this is the type of record this band is suited to making, and it richly rewards repeat listening--details and melodies that seem buried or understated eventually come to fore, slowly revealed in a mixture of organic warmth, welcome variety, and subtle complexity.
  4. It's a great return to form from the group, and easily their best full length since they've started incorporating vocals on nearly every song.
  5. While most groups lasting over 10 years tend to run on artistic fumes, Joey Burns and John Convertino gush with unbridled creative enthusiasm here.
  6. 80
    Carried To Dust is definitely Calexico’s best-sounding record: Each voice and instrument has its place, wheeling around Convertino’s graceful drumming like dancers going around the maypole.
  7. Carried to Dust represents a refreshing return to eccentricity.
  8. Calexico's dusty vistas make a welcome comeback.
  9. 80
    Calexico are back, but this time they’re travelling all over the map. Carried to Dust is a quietly persuasive record.
  10. Special guest vocalists, plus a turn at bat from longtime member Jacob Valenzuela on 'Inspiracion,' add intriguing textures to the 15-song set.
  11. It seems a return to first principles has done Calexico good, and returned their music to a raw emotional state.
  12. It's a gorgeous, low-key album, full of musical nuance that unfolds with slow grace and exerts an irresistible pull back to the start after the last note has sounded.
  13. With some diversions, things stay pretty riveting across the whole album.
  14. The group never abandoned its orquestra live, and that may be why this return to form sounds so welcoming.
  15. Alternative Press
    80
    Calexico is back in the desert with Carried To Dust. Which is not to say it feels like a retreat, Dust is far too confident. [Oct 2008, p.152]
  16. Carried to Dust feels like a precise parsing of Calexico's best elements, a lingering, understated beauty.
  17. The band bring the tang of that elsewhere pop back to Carried to Dust, however, planting big-hook sensibility and the willingness to evolve within its Southwestern mood pieces.
  18. Carried To Dust finds strength in eccentricity and simple melodies.
  19. While the return to straighter Old West soundscapes is welcome after Garden Ruin, Carried to Dust is really just another solid album from a band that’s made a career out of mining the genres of the Southwest.
  20. Its occasional awkwardness and complex narrative arc may deter true devotion. However, there are still many miraculous highpoints within, which should give Joey Burns and John Convertino a sturdier and braver platform for Calexico to step-up from next time around.
  21. 70
    Carried To Dust's songs travel a trail that seems carved out of ancient echoes. [Sep 2008, p.114]
  22. Carried to Dust is a fine entry Calexico’s discography that both evokes a much-loved sound from the past and yet looks at the sun fading into the west, turns its horse towards the dying light, and carries on into the future.
  23. 70
    From the way gently twanging guitar builds to toxic fuzz on 'Man Made Lake' to the whistling in 'El Gatillo' that nails the stranger-in-town vibe, the band’s best stories are in their music.
  24. Sometimes Calexico is a Southwestern Dire Straits, with Joey Burns whispering over loping, subdued guitar vamps as John Convertino plays his drums with brushes. Or it’s a band looking toward Mexico...Or it’s a spaghetti-western soundtrack orchestra with guitar reverb....At its best, in songs like 'Victor Jara’s Hands,' it’s all of them at once.
  25. Under The Radar
    70
    A record that finds Calexico firmly in their element and back on the road less traveled. [Fall 2008, p.80]
  26. Their music can sound both wonderfully evocative or occasionally faux--as authentic as a Mexican restaurant located in Milton Keynes--and lacks a dominant vocal like former bandmate Howe Gelb, of Giant Sand.
  27. Q Magazine
    60
    Mariachi horns and guitar twang still form the backbone of a striking return to what they do best. [Oct 2008, p.141]
  28. Mojo
    60
    With 15 tracks, there a good deal to like. [Oct 2008, p.112]
  29. Nothing terribly new or unexpected to report, just a more direct way of expressing not so adventurous ideas.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 11, 2011
    10
    Without question my favorite album in this genre of all time. Every single song is worth listening to. Absolutely a 10 out of 10 album. ManWithout question my favorite album in this genre of all time. Every single song is worth listening to. Absolutely a 10 out of 10 album. Man Made Lake and Red Blooms are my faves. Full Review »