Madagascar

Goodbye East, Goodbye West

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The second album by Baltimore-based instrumental ensemble Madagascar is, in the best possible way, more of the same as their marvelous debut, Forced March. There are six tunes on this half-hour album, all but one (a charming recasting of the Chanukah staple "S'Vivon") in the five- to nine-minute range. Each one features accordionist Michael Lambright and his musical saw-playing brother Anthony Lambright, supported by percussion (including prominent glockenspiel parts), acoustic guitar and electric bass. The largely minor-key tunes are reminiscent of higher profile acts like Beirut and A Hawk and a Hacksaw, but Madagascar evince little interest in the faux-Balkan vibe of those bands: their music is unbound by geography, featuring slowly unfurling melodies akin to but gentler than fellow instrumentalists like Explosions in the Sky. Anyone who loved Forced March will be entirely pleased by Goodbye East, Goodbye West; newcomers can expect to be either lulled into a blissed-out swoon or put to sleep, depending on one's tolerance for this sort of thing.

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