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Not bad, but not classic GB
on 24 July 2013
I broadly agree with the earlier reviews. The raw energy of Gogol Bordello has, on earlier recorded work, translated well from the live performances, but this album sounds so over-thought and over-produced; it comes across to me that each band member has probably recorded their bits separately (as is the modern process these days) where previously you could believe they were all in a studio thrashing out their songs together. I wonder also if the changes in personnel have had an impact, now with a more full-on rock drummer (I like Oliver's playing but it lacks the subtlety of Eliot's) and this is the first recording since long-standing Israeli guitarist Oren Kaplan was replaced by American Michael Ward, which may also add to he overall more commercial sound. Eugene's voice still comes through, so it's still undoubtedly GB, and I reckon some of these songs, especially opening track We Rise Again, are strong enough to come over better played live - I'll find out when they hit the UK in December.
On the plus side, I ordered the vinyl version, knowing I'd get the MP3 download from Amazon thrown in (thus making vinyl viable again!), but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was white vinyl, came with a white vinyl 7" of two otherwise unreleased tracks, and the CD (albeit in a wallet rather than jewel case). Bonus!