ALBUM REVIEW: Gogol Bordello, Pura Vida Conspiracy
The physical act of listening to Gogol Bordello can be likened to the emotional reaction one experiences when attending a really excellent party. The vibe is energetic, alive, and connected (a familia undestructable, if you will).
The personalities can range from chill to down-right rowdy, depending on the crowd (or album track). And when you leave the party, your body is buzzing. You recall specific details of the evening, replaying incidents (lyrics and melodies) in your mind…wanting to relive them.
The beautiful thing about Gogol Bordello is you can listen to them on repeat.
If you are a Gogol fan, that will more than likely never change. This week’s release of Pura Vida Conspiracy marks album #6 of the band’s explosive, Gypsy punk repertoire. If you’re not compelled to bust out some high-kicks and get radical when spinning Gogol, you are listening to the wrong damn band.
All Gogol’s previous albums have a balance of energy. The band has painted a very lovely progression since their beginnings in ’99. In a sense they’ve tightened up. Saying they’ve become more polished might be accurate, but GB’s sound is not one that necessarily improves with the assistance of studio gadgets. Their strength lies in their organic chemistry. In any case, from this writer’s perspective Gogol’s change in sound over the past 14 years has not been drastic, but rather a gradual climb up the stairs to the loft party. Sergey’s violin and Yuri’s accordion are always powerful, always unique. Pedro’s beat-boxing brings the funk. Instrumentally, the band has consistently delivered, but their role in intricately wrapping around singer Eugene Hutz’ every word…well…these boys have it down. [Not to exclude the other fellas OR Miss Elizabeth Sun! This gal is the belle of the ball].
*Instead of describing track list song by song, I have decided to categorize them by party type*
We Rise Again
Dig Deep Enough
Lost Innocent World
Your Cousin’s Ukrainian Wedding Party:
My Gypsy Auto Pilot
Midnight Bonfire Beach Party:
The Other Side of Rainbow
I Just Realized
After Hours at Your Favorite Bar Party:
It Is The Way You Name Your Ship
John The Conqueror (Truth Is Always The Same)
*Song You Listen to On Your Way Home From the Party*
We Shall Sail
Bodacious bass player Thomas “Tommy T” Gobena was kind enough to lend his comments when I asked if he had a favorite track on the album.
“It’s kinda hard to pick just one song on an album like Pura Vida Conspiracy. That is the strength of the album in my opinion.. From the symphonic vibes of ‘Dig Deep Enough’ to the delicate melody of ‘I Just Realized’… the anthemic sounds of ‘Lost Innocent World’ to the heavy and frantic grind of ‘Jealous Sister’ (hidden track), they’re all constructed to make you feel each moment and be PRESENT.”
Pura Vida is peppered with a sense of the artist’s struggle. Eugene gushes lyrically about his love for the art and unique craft that is: creating music and experiencing it. The passion is there and because of that the party that is Gogol Bordello never has to end. You are always in the company of friends.
-Gia Del Prince