After two discs devoted to the superbly crafted songs from Borreroak, Negu Gorriak opted to go international on their only U.S. release and last album of original material. So salsa and metal elements are up on Ideia Zabaldu, the punk and Jamaican components down, and the quality falls from masterpiece to merely very good. Trombone-flavored salsa crashes headlong into power chords on "Ipurbegia" and "Nire Baitan Dauge Biak" opens brilliantly -- power chords joined by a one-off sample of a female soul chorus singing "Free your mind" -- before pitting Fermín Muguruza's snarling rap against brawling guitar riffs. Seventy-seven seconds of classic punk ("Ideien Kontradbandoa") are followed up by a riveting guitar melody on "Bakartia Hondarribian" that drifts off into a neo-Jimi Hendrix haze. But the individual songs and snippets remain separate on Ideia Zabaldu, never really achieving a seamless flow. "Ume Hilak" skanks from horn-flavored ska to spacy dub and "Aizu" is a surprisingly gentle singalong with unusually personal lyrics for the staunchly political and ideological Muguruza. It's only a relative letdown; Ideia Zabaldu still boasts plenty of dramatic arrangements, dynamic nuances, subtle touches, and rhythmically convincing songs to feast on.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Don Snowden