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How It Ends

4.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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How It Ends
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Audio CD, October 5, 2004
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Vinyl, February 22, 2011
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$15.86 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Usually ships within 9 to 13 days. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Named the #1 'Unsigned Band in America' by CMJ NMR, DeVotchKa's third full length 'How It Ends' showcases the Denver band's unique sound- a blend of Eastern European, Southwestern, & wholly otherworldly arrangements, which are impossible to define in time or space. Produced by Craig Shumacher, (Calexico, Giant Sand, Evan Dando) 'How It Ends' is filled with mournful ballads & aggressive instrumentals-- built with violin, upright bass, guitar, trumpets, piano, theremin & odd percussion. DeVotchKa & their unique sound have drawn comparisons to like-minded peers Calexico, 16 Horsepower, & Bright Eyes.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cicero Recordings
  • ASIN: B0002Y4SVG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,972 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For me, How It Ends is a somewhat uneven album - I'll specifically note which songs I like and don't like below - but I find myself listening to the pieces I do like over and over (and over).

The album starts off a bit iffy for me. "You Love Me" is forgettable. I don't hate it, it's just not particularly better or worse than any other song I'd hear on the radio.

"The Enemy Guns" signals a change in pace and style and message, and it is a welcome one. There's a visceral energy here that got me to keep listening.

"No One Is Watching" is a 28-second instrumental, which would suggest to me a transition track, but it doesn't match up with the prior or next tracks in any way, shape, or form. It's an interesting sound, but is too short to "get into" and doesn't get us from A to B. Throwaway track.

"Twenty-Six Temptations" is the first track that made me think there was something imaginative happening on the album. A bassline produced by tuba? A high, haunting voice over a latin rhythm? It's a song that made me work to understand it. That's a rare thing, and appreciated here.

"How It Ends" is beautiful - sparse and repetitive in a proper way, excellent use of crescendo just after the chorus, sad. Another keeper. It also follows "Twenty-Six Temptations" in a good way, thematically.

"Charlotte Mittnacht (The Fabulous Destiny of...)" is a wonderful instrumental piece. Whereas "No One Is Watching" just sort of sticks out, "Charlotte Mittnacht" acts, for me, as a surreal followup to "How It Ends" as well as developing in its own right. Can you have trance music without the thumping electronica? Trance polka? Because this is a polka, but polka as conceived by someone living inside the painting Starry Night.
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Comment 22 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Devotchka is a band that really hit me sideways and im still reeling. I discovered the band through thier hauntingly fantastic song "How it Ends" which is featured the trailer of the movie "Everything is Illuminated." I had listened to the single for a few months and then decided to research the band, expecting to find a one hit wonder that couldnt live up to "How it ends". I couldnt have been more wrong. Song after song is brilliantly written, and sounds like nothing else you have ever heard.

And to the two star review on here. You gripe is that you like Gogol and not this band, and say its becuase this band wasnt that lively. Devotchka IS NOT a Punk band. Not only are they not a Punk Band, but they are not this Yellow Card, Simple Plan, Fallout Boy trash. This is a band that has lyrics that are written as smoothly and interestingly as classics John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and others. The music carries the wind of marachi music, with russian music that mixes in a beautiful Way.

Get this album and become hooked.
1 Comment 16 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't stop listening to my DeVotchKa CDs. Over and over. Because something new has to be devoured, not sampled, right? Anyway, I can't get over how pretty their songs are. They use so many different instruments, they're like a rock orchestra that's traveled around the globe and taken samples from music everywhere. Listening to it is like being transported. It's magical. The lyrics are poetic, sometimes so sweet you wanna cry and sometimes so sad you wanna cry. And Nick Urata's voice is one of my favorites now. It's almost operatic at times, dramatic, romantic, and like an old lover calling you home. The music is very cinematic for sure - grand and gorgeous. I'm so glad to have seen Miss Sunshine - not only because it's such a great film, but because I would never have known of DeVotchKa. And they have brightened my world. Even the sad songs are hopeful in sound if not in lyric, and I just feel uplifted after hearing them.
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Format: Audio CD
While not a complete departure from their previous album, "Una Volta," "How It Ends" certainly has a different feel. It has an almost orchestral feel, though it is performed primarily by the band's four members. It feels like the band wrote this album as though it should always be played in a great concert hall, as the grandiose sound seems too big for a bar or rock dive. DeVotchKa have done a great thing in branching out further and not simply retracing the paths they have already walked. Certainly a band that deserves continued attention.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw DeVotchKa open for the Dresden Dolls, having absolutely no idea what they were like, except for the hearing the word "Ukranian" associated with them. When I saw the band's set-up -- a guy playing both accordion and violin (not at the same time...), a woman playing bass and a giant tuba lit up with Christmas lights, a percussionist with a trumpet, and a frontman who looked like the spawn of Morrissey -- well, yes, that got my attention. And when they started to play...I was thoroughly Impressed. With a capital "I". Nick Urata, the vocalist -- his voice gave me chills, his alternately plaintive and powerful falsetto nearly brought tears to my eyes. In addition to electric guitar and bouzouki, he also played a theremin. (A THEREMIN. Anybody who knows me knows that the way to my heart is via the ability to play a theremin. But I digress.) The energy of the performance was contagious and I felt myself getting swept up in the music that was at once foreign and familiar to my ears. I don't usually seek out this type of music, it was simply thrust upon me, and I liked it a lot.

So I needed to get their CD, ANY one of them, and fast. "How It Ends" was my choice, and it lived up to their live show. With artists I'm not familiar with, I usually fear that their recorded material is weaker than actually seeing a performance. I wasn't let down at all. In fact, the songs on this album have even *more* resonance, and are infused with so much heart and soul and passion and beauty that I still get goosebumps and tears in my eyes. My personal favorites include "You Love Me," "The Enemy Guns" (there's nothing remotely Ukranian about this one, it's actually a Mexican-type norteno), "Dearly Departed" (makes me bawl every time), and "Such a Lovely Thing." But all of the tracks are amazing in their own right.
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