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Super Taranta

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gogol Bordello has been breaking down musical barriers since 1999 with a supercharged music based on a brutal gypsy two step rhythm that sounds like an Eastern European cousin of ska, augmented by punk, metal, rap, flamenco, roots reggae, Italian spaghetti western twang, dub, and other sounds generated by gypsies and rebels from across the globe. This is intense transglobal rebel rock, not light headed world fusion pop. It's about believing that music and art can transform negative energy to positive and inspire individual intelligence.

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What Operation Ivy is to the latter-day ska revival, Gogol Bordello is to the increasingly popular revival of Eastern European music. Blending gypsy rhythms with the intensity of alternative-rock, metal (and even rap), the group is justly renown for their charged live performances. The title track is a lovely mix of Balkan strings with pleasant screams from lead singer/ shouter Eugene Hutz. If only more of the songs followed its lead. As a whole, the album sounds like Leftie bumper stickers set to vaguely aggro "gypsy rock." "My Strange Uncles from Abroad" makes its political statement in a personal and affecting manner, but other tunes such as "Forces of Victory" are merely affected. It's hard not to agree with their world view or love for the woozy sounds of Eastern Europe. But on this album, GB make the Dead Kennedys seem subtle. And it would be nice if there were more variety to their sound. Perhaps they should collaborate with Beirut, Muzsikas, or Hawk and a Hacksaw next time? --Mike McGonigal
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 10, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: INGrooves
  • ASIN: B000RGSOI2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,400 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Gogol Bordello hit the big time with their last album of raucous gypsy-punk, which coincided with frontman Eugene Hutz's screen debut.

And they stick to their past sound in "Super Taranta!" -- a mad, frenetic ride splattered with heavy doses of Balkan folk music. Their sound and vibe don't shift too much in this one, but their energy and wildness hasn't failed them, or their kooky blend of gypsy and Pogues-style rock'n'roll.

"If we are here not to do/what you and I wanna do?/And go for rubber, crazy with it/why the hell we are livin' here? DAH!" Eugene Hutz calls out a capella...

... just before the music lapses into a swaying, colourful Balkan melody... which goes into fast-forward about halfway through. Hutz is roaring and growning about how "there were never any good old days/they are today, they are tomorrow!/It's a stupid thing to say" as the music revs around him.

It gets even more energetic in the wild festival sound of "Wonderlust King," and the driving bass-rocker "Zina Marina." With those done, they spin off into a series of energetic Balkan rockers: accordion pop, jibbering fiddlerock, darkly gleeful punk, wailing guitar laments, and what sounds like the theme song to a gypsy James Bond movie.

It has to be admitted, Gogol Bordello hasn't really changed their sound much. Not that stops it from being fun frenetic, colourful, slightly messy and very insane, without a shred of self-consciousness. It's a Jackson Pollock of Balkan noise.

But "Super Taranta" does adjust their sound a bit -- there's a bit more gypsy in their music, and a few bits less punk, with tighter melodies than before.
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This album is a good follow up to the stellar Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike. Where that album skews a bit more punk, this one at times moves back towards Eastern European/Balkan musical influences.

There are still big, brash, snotty punk influences, but as with GPUWS, there is real heart and humanity at the core of this album. Brass arrangements (Fanfare Ciocarlia are cited in "American Wedding"), and big-band delivery keep the music engaging but miles away from stadium songs. Another particularly nice touch, is the continuation of ideas, themes, even lines "Dub it, like tovarisch would" and self-referential lyrics that bring this album, and to a lesser extent GPUWS together.

Tracks like "Dub the Frequencies of Love" and "Tribal Connection" break from the still successful Gogol Bordello mold, trying more varied styles. Sonic washes and almost alt-rock on Dub, and softer reggae, not-quite American folk on "Tribal." This is the only area where i would find issue with this otherwise terrific album. Super Taranta! is following in the footsteps of GPUWS perhaps a little closely, trying some new styles here, though is not a tremendous difference from GPUWS. Though as i said, it's not nearly enough to mar the otherwise sparkling album Super Taranta.

Finally, for the unfamiliar, this album is a great place to start. Perhaps better than GPUWS. If you are not a particular fan of punk rock influenced music, this album moreso than GPUWS will keep you at the least tapping along to many songs. Strings, accordian, every last band member's non-stop energetic deliver, and a tendency towards the folk over the rock define this album for me.

Simply put, this is an excellent album, either for those who already enjoy Gogol Bordello (on any level) or the entirely unfamiliar.
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By Inna on September 20, 2007
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Your savage heart will sing to this generous sound. Recklessness and frenzy of a gypsy wedding. Cynicism and melancholy of a post-soviet back alley. So real, so good. I am from Ukraine, Eugene's motherland, and I can not get enough Gogol Bordello!
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Humor, punk-rock & eastern European themes pervade Golgol Bordello's music. Thumbing their noses at the establishment and it's insane restrictions and regulations and the slavery it creates and enforces, they are musical super-heroes, Buck-Rodgers in a bandwagon fighting the corrupt crime-bosses who rule the world! Besides, I've always liked the Romani. They remind me of my family.
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I love Gogol Bordello, but this was...not their best. I was so excited for this album and after listening to it a couple times, I felt like I had to do this review. Lately I've just been craving ecentric gypsy/klezmer/carnival rock fusions and I wanted this to add another layer to it. Their last album, Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike, was perfection. Super Taranta just did not meet that expectation.

I had two impressions while listening to this album: the first was the feeling that they were just warming up until track #12 (oh good, the album finally started), and the second was that they were doing a very bad impression of the band, Flogging Molly (in that pirate kind of way). Wha? Yeah, I guess that's what I'm trying to get to:

It felt more like drunken pirate brawl then crazy gypsy punk. It is not really like the previous album. I gotta have more gypsy, more drum, more chaos! It just seems to be slightly off here. I feel bad leaving such a low rating, but I was just so disappointed.

If you are new to Gogol Bordello, I would recommend starting with their Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike album, which got some spotlight from the movie, "Everything is Illuminated". If you're a die hard Gogol fan, I think you'll love this album as much as any other.
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