April 10, 2008

Test Spin: DeVotchKa

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If you like your music to wander, A Mad and Faithful Telling is for you. The track, “Blessing in Disguise,” for example, blends an almost circus-like drumbeat with a strong strings-based chorus, and then tops it off with Nick Urata’s emotive vocals. And if Urata’s voice captures you, as it almost certainly will, be sure to listen to “Undone.” Its poignant lyrics and emotional delivery are probably the strongest on the album. If you prefer a more playful mood, however, “Basso Profundo” and “Head Honcho” deliver the same vocal potency, but with added zest from the instruments. These and a few other tracks seem to infuse European folk styles into the traditional indie sound — one might even detect a tinge of klezmer in the instrumental track “Strizzalo.” Indeed, DeVotchKa delivers a variety of sounds with this album, and manages to stay true to its gypsy/indie rock roots while also exploring more adventurous sounds.