DeVotchKa’s fifth studio album sounds like the songs could get noticed just as much in movies as on the radio. This comes as no surprise since in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine, most of the soundtrack features DeVotchKa. With the focus on gentle melodies, plenty of string instruments that give an orchestral feel, and drum rolls on the snare to build tension, DeVotchKa embodies a theatrical vibe. Taking a look at the album case itself, around the pamphlet that shows the lyrics to each track, is the outside of a roll of film.
The third track “100 Other Lovers” has a dream-like melody, but the lyrics describe the heart- wrenching situation of a love falling out of love and becoming disinterested. It’s interesting the title contrasts with the album title, and makes the actual track “100 Other Lovers” seem more emotionally distressed. There is the feeling of losing out on love with someone, but wanting love so desperately because the person is “in love with the idea.”
In songs like “The Common Good,” “The Man from San Sebastian,” “Bad Luck Heels,” DeVotchKa gives off a unique ethnic quality. There are repeated hand claps, a bandoneon, a trumpet, and bongos, all making the music sound like it could be made anywhere in the world. In “Exhausible,” that same concept applies, but it sounds like it could be coming from a grade school. For background vocals, there is a children’s choir and a joyous whistle carries the lighthearted melody.
From these tracks, the fifth album displays DeVotchKa’s ability to create a certain atmosphere and mood for the listener. This album is something that could play on your iPod while lying in bed and put you to sleep – but I mean that in a good way. The creative and unique melodies can seem almost like lullabies.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P
Key Tracks: “100 other Lovers,” “Exhaustible” and “Bad Luck Heels”
Recommended if you like: Gogol Bordello, Andrew Bird & Beirut.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!