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Maraqopa

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 21, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

At Richard Swift's National Freedom studios, the live-to-tape ethos allowed the songs on Damien Jurado's Maraqopa to expand and retract like a great beast's breath. Every in-the-moment bell and whistle here is hung with a natural, casual care. And from this, each song offers up its own unique gift.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 21, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Secretly Canadian
  • ASIN: B006NO03UE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,271 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Dear Music Appreciators,

The godfather of post-grunge Seattle singer-songwriters has been releasing consistently interesting and underappreciated albums for fifteen years now and his latest, MARAQOPA, is no exception to that pattern. But in the spirit of full disclosure...because I had the pleasure of hearing this album performed live (with full band and guests from The Shins, The Head and the Heart, and Bryan John Appleby) at The Neptune Theater in Seattle before I heard it on record, I may be somewhat prejudiced against the recorded version. It seemed a little quiet and polite after the awesomeness of the live show. Perhaps it's something like the classic conflict of book vs. movie adaptation - though that conflict (and this metaphor) could work both ways. Just know that if you like what you hear on the album you will likely love what you hear live and in person. Go see a show.

MARAQOPA is an old-fashioned record with a capital "R." It's the kind of album (bonus points for vinyl) best heard in sequence, in one sitting, with some big old retro headphones on your ears. Don't worry, it will only take you thirty-six minutes And don't worry if you don't "get it" all at first - the best records work that way - they work under the same laws as the natural world. The law of the harvest. You reap what you sow. The more you listen the more you are rewarded as the musical spell reveals itself to you over the course of time.
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There are very few artists who after a few albums don't have a slight misstep... Damien Jurado is one of them (if you like singer/songwriter folk music). I can't even try to rank his albums because they are all incredibly equally good though considerably different from each other. Only other artist that is as prolific and consistent IMO is Ryan Adams. If you have liked anything Damien Jurado has released in his 15(?) year career this purchase is a no-brainer. what a stunning album, already one of the best of the year.
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Damien Jurado has a solid understanding of rhythm, how to layer harmonies, and write really solid lyrics. It's like the best of My Morning Jacket meets the best of Beck meets the best of Fleet Foxes. Super solid, and really happy I found his music.

His music displays great variety and yet it is super-cohesive and awesome. OK, I'll stop, but really, this is good good good.
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Format: MP3 Music
Seattleites may know Damien Jurado as one of the great alt-folk songwriters in our region. He certainly is that; his lyrics and feel for the music are outstanding.

In Maraqopa, Jurado has evolved and transformed - from caterpillar to butterfly, to echo an alternate spelling to the title? Maraqopa is outstanding from beginning to end. Since the album's release, I've listened more to this one album than all other albums in my home and MP3s on my player, combined. It's that good. The lyrics are brilliant as usual, but it is the quality of the surrounding band and album production that allows the album to break through Jurado's previous space.

Buy the album. And go see the band on tour. I was mesmerized, and you will be also.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I have only listened to this once but I was very happy for the recommendation from Amazon.
My apologies for not having a great critique, but like often happens with all art forms, I like what I like and it is hard to explain!

There is an electronic component to the sound that is done very well, and is most unexpected. I anticipated a primarily acoustic sound, but with this added it adds a richness to the mix that I am liking more and more these days. Even with this the instruments and voice are distinct and enjoyable. I look forward to finding more of his music for comparison, and will add it to my collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Although he is now 10 albums and 15 years into his career, Damien Jurado is still a relatively unknown artist. The same can be said for producer Richard Swift who, including "Maraqopa," has now produced Jurado's last two records.

For many artists, this could become disconcerting, but not for Jurado. With each album since his 1997 debut, "Waters Ave S.," Damien Jurado has progressed as a musician and evolved as a songwriter.

"Maraqopa" is, in a way, a sequel to 2010's "Saint Bartlett," Jurado's first record with Richard Swift. As the album strolls through each of the 10 tracks, a vast variety of styles, textures, instruments, and moods are explored. "Nothing is the News" opens the album with a track that might feel more familiar on a Pink Floyd record. Jurado's reverb-saturated vocals play second fiddle to competing solos played simultaneously along with ambient sound effects.

Swift's utilization of panning the guitars to the left or right speaker allows both parts plenty of time to shine and gives the listener something new to explore with repeated listens. This is not the same acoustic folk artist fans of Jurado have become accustomed to and as "Maraqopa" unfolds, Jurado sets out to break every preconceived notion listeners have had about his music.

One of the more unique tracks on the record is "Life Away From the Garden." Accompanied by an acoustic guitar, the song would comfortably fit within the majority of Jurado's catalog, but instead his voice enters into a call and response with a children's choir while stabs of a rock organ create syncopation with the drum track. The resulting balance of instruments and voices gives the whole track a dreamy quality reminiscent of "Cloudy Shoes," one of the leading singles from "Saint Bartlett.
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