Reptile Palace Orchestra

XOPO

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Reptile Palace Orchestra's second live album concentrates solely on folk song and dance styles from Europe, with an emphasis on Eastern European regions. Of the 17 tracks on this recording, ten have been previously recorded on the four albums that preceded this: Early Reptile, On the Wings of a Skink, Hwy X, and Iguana Iguana. So, as is the case with all of RPO's independent live recordings, there are plenty of new selections. Since this collection of music centers on gypsy music from Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, and other European countries, a greater continuity exists on this album than on previous Reptile Palace Orchestra albums, whose globetrotting tendencies are the trademark of the band. There also seems to be a greater presence of electric guitar on these recordings; in other words, this album rocks. Unlike previous releases which only touched upon singer Anna Purnell's trumpet playing ability, XOPO prominently features her on several selections with impressive playing, to say the least. Like their earlier live album, On the Wings of a Skink, this recording is incredibly clean with minimal audience distractions. It's all about the music and not musicians per se. Yes, this band is incredibly talented and they each get their opportunity to shine, but Reptile Palace Orchestra are still greater than the sum of their parts.

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