Tête á Tête

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ABBC's Tete a Tete is one of those late-era westerns where the heroes are racists, the whores have no hearts, and the townsfolk really don't deserve saving in the first place shot through the stark, black-and-white perspective of a European existentialist. Half Tuscon, AZ's Calexico (Joey Burns, John Convertino), half France's Amor Belhom Duo (Naïm Amor, Thomas Belhom), ABBC avoids being a disaster of contradiction with gaunt textures; moaning, undead guitars; a raw, steal-heavy rhythm section; and an air of cross-cultural, barely audible experimental rock and a gentle touch of pretentious jazz. Gorgeous strings and Suede-ish pianos sometimes appear ("Orange Trees in the Yard") and the effect -- the album's principal, self-evolving justification -- is sweet and hypnotic.

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