DeVotchKa

100 Lovers

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AllMusic Review by

Fresh off a worldwide tour that saw the group perform in front of nearly 80,000 people at the Stade de France as the opening act for Muse, Denver-based Gypsy-alt-rock outfit Devotchka have managed to find a nice middle ground between world domination and underground anonymity since their 1997 inception as a burlesque backing band. The group’s sixth studio album still relies heavily on the Eastern European-infused, heavily cinematic -- you can hear the influence of the band’s recent stints in the world of film music (Little Miss Sunshine, I Love You Philip Morris) throughout 100 Lovers' 45-minute run time -- chamber pop of past efforts, but there are some new elements at play here. IMAX-sized opener “The Alley” rolls in like a thunderous qawwali prayer, you can practically hear the strings of firecrackers bouncing around the pavement on the mariachi-drenched “Contrabanda,” and “Bad Luck Heels” flirts with Brazilian forro and goes home with Bollywood. Throughout it all, bandleader Nick Urata croons and wails and the wild percussion, seemingly random tango-fueled arpeggios, and instrumental segues pile up, which can get a little exhausting when taken straight through. It’s a melting pot to be sure, and the band has a tendency to go heavy on the atmosphere and light on the hooks, but there’s never any doubt that it’s a brew tended over by some awfully talented cooks.

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