Garden Ruin

Garden Ruin Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: Joey Burns and John Convertino return with an album produced by J.D. Foster (Dwight Yoakam).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. It's what Sigur Ros might sound like if they came from Arizona, and it's truly excellent.
  2. I'd never wanted Calexico to change, but the new direction suits them well, proving that even in the face of radical metamorphosis, they remain as stunning and distinctive as ever.
  3. These are the kind of songs that gnaw their way into your consciousness.
  4. 75
    Calexico have abandoned much of the jazzy, mariachi-infused Americana pulses that characterized their former sound.
  5. It's the band's die-hards who will have to put in a good deal more work with Garden Ruin, an album that seems destined to be regarded as a "transitional" record a few years out.
  6. Garden Ruin is good, but there are a bazillion alt-country Coors rockers who could pull this off, and coming from an outfit with such a remarkable past body of work it is a disappointment.
  7. Fans of Calexico's darker, rougher, and more cinematic work will pine for just that, even though the band's clearly evolving on Garden Ruin.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Jules
    May 2, 2006
    10
    It is a great pity if the carnival of diverse cinematic sounds that thrilled on Feast of Wire is seen as the only interesting and songworthy It is a great pity if the carnival of diverse cinematic sounds that thrilled on Feast of Wire is seen as the only interesting and songworthy thing about Calexico. A pity because Garden Ruin is a feast of intensely emotional and delicately crafted songs that continue to grow their twisted way into my heart. In fact, this album has a sincere angry beauty that I had always hoped lay beneath all the haunting southwestern soundscapes and studio trickery. The iron/wine collaboration didn't impress me that much but this is an altogether different beast and is certainly far from a generic alt-country effort. In short, I don't give a damn where this fits into broader musical history or that of the band - these songs are seductive angry laments that are a joy to experience. Expand
  2. ChadS
    Jun 6, 2006
    9
    Did The Judybats reunite? "Cruel", in particular, would feel right at home on "Down in the Shacks Where the Satellite Dishes Grow". Other Did The Judybats reunite? "Cruel", in particular, would feel right at home on "Down in the Shacks Where the Satellite Dishes Grow". Other obvious winners are "Bisbee Blue" and "Deep Down". "Garden Ruin" has the sort of cohesion that is rare in most contemporary albums that hit the marketplace. They don't sound anything like The Go-Betweens, but they satisfy me the same way. Calexico knows when to quit. Expand
  3. Jon
    Aug 17, 2006
    9
    It's the songs, people. Try to get "Yours and Mine" or "Bisbee Blue" out of your head. And the arrangements: less "cinematic," more It's the songs, people. Try to get "Yours and Mine" or "Bisbee Blue" out of your head. And the arrangements: less "cinematic," more economical...the horn section in "Cruel" lifts the sadness and tension of the song with a welcome kiss. Solid, solid stuff. Expand
  4. AaronQ
    Apr 28, 2006
    8
    Lots of different sounds on this record. Top notch production, great drumming, catchy songs. Very good.
  5. KevinR
    Jul 7, 2006
    8
    Another great effort by one of the best bands of today.
  6. klassv
    Jun 4, 2006
    8
    maybe not exactly as great as previous albums, but still a gem shining silently and majestically.
  7. TristramC
    Apr 25, 2006
    3
    I sold it. I very rarely sell cds. They are maybe the only asset more depreciable that your car but I was disappointed enough in this I sold it. I very rarely sell cds. They are maybe the only asset more depreciable that your car but I was disappointed enough in this purchase that the 4 bucks I got back was more valuable than this disc. I have enjoyed and own 3 other Calexico albums, Feast of Wife, the Black Light and Even My Sure Things Fall Though and it isn't the abandonment of the Southeast flavor that is disappointing. I can understand a bands desire to change and evolve but the songs here are just boring. I tried, honest. I really wanted to like this album but I kept waiting for something worthwhile to happen and it never did. Joey and John, you collabo with Iron & Wine was boring too. Its as if you've made the mistake of taking the Sam Beam road on your own and it wasn't interesting even when you did it with Sam Beam. Stick to what you do best please or write more inspiring material. Thanks. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews