Gogol Bordello “Super Taranta”

Album Reviews | Jun 26th, 2007

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Record Label: Side One Dummy
Genre: Gypsy Punk
Band Link: link
Buy on Amazon.com link

PARTY! Gogol Bordello have quickly become one of my favorite bands and i’ve been anticipating this one for awhile now! I love Gogol’s music on Cd but where the band really shines is during their live show. Talk about giving it their all and making the whole venue into one big party. I highly recommend seeing them live when you can, you won’t be disappointed. But let’s talk about their brand new album, the follow-up to their brilliant “Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike” shall we?

The first time I heard “Super Taranta,” I liked a lot of the songs towards the front of the album but wasn’t a big fan of the later tracks. But after listening to this pretty much everyday after that, “Super Taranta” is just as strong as their previous album. The band have really honed down that gypsy punk sound, and Eugene Hutz’s vocals haven’t sounded better! Hutz has created quite the iconic image of himself; with his vocals, appearance and stage antics that could very well be compared to Shane MacGowan, Jello Biafra and Iggy Pop. As soon as you hear Gogol Bordello, you know it’s them. As soon as you see Eugene Hutz, you know he’s this eclectic rock star. His popularity is growing rapidly as well. Eugene has appeared in the movie Everything is Illuminated with Elijah Wood and he also appeared in a documentary about himself as well. Word on the street he’s filming or filmed another movie recently in Europe.

“Super Taranta” seems to focus more on the Gypsy/Eastern European side of their sound this time, whereas the last one was very much a punk rock album. There are some songs that are fast, and punky but not as many as “Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike”. Two fast, Gypsy punk songs that come to mind are “Wonderlust King,” (their new single) and “Forces of Victory.” I think the band’s reggae influence is apparent on this album as well. I think they should explore down that road more because when they mix the Gypsy and reggae together, you get a flawless song like “Tribal Connection.” “Tribal Connection” is my “Start Wearing Purple” for this new album. It seems like I need to put that track on everyday. The guitar, accordion and fiddle sound really cool in that song, almost like something out of a spaghetti western movie. It’s hard to describe how it sounds so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Like I said before, I don’t think some of the songs at the end are as strong. But I think once I hear these songs live, I’ll really appreciate them more. One song I really like at the end though is “American Wedding.” If you listen to the lyrics, you’ll find yourself laughing because Hutz sings about how boring, short and downright shitty American Weddings are. I guess when Eastern Europeans are used to three day weddings, anything short of that will be a big disappointment.

Gogol Bordello’s “Super Taranta” is a great follow-up to Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike and mixes a lot of their influences into one excellent sound. You got gypsy, punk, reggae, ska, flamenco, Italian music, and dub. I think “Super Taranta” has a lot of great elements to it that succeed “Gypsy Punks,” but I think their previous album is still their best Cd to date. That album was pretty hard to follow-up to but Gogol will definitely give fans their money’s worth. Whether or not this album isn’t better than their last album, it’s still one of the best CDs i’ve heard this year. Be sure to catch the band live this summer on selective US dates and around the festival circuit.

Bottom Line: Takes one or two listens to get used to but after that, the album is great!
Notable Tracks: Wonderlust King, Zina-Marina, Super Theory of Super Everything, My Strange Uncle From Aboard, Tribal Connection , American Wedding
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