DeVotchKa
How It Ends


5.0
classic

Review

by SeizureToday USER (1 Reviews)
August 13th, 2006 | 15 replies | 9,600 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


4 of 4 thought this review was well written

It’s difficult to explain DeVotchKa exactly. One minute they’re toying with Eastern European gypsy-like rhythms, then the next, they’re diving straight into Ennio Morricone territory. And that’s before they go off exploring mariachi and other southwestern styles. It’s difficult to exactly label this band, which is incredible.

Colorado has hardly anything better come out of it.

“How it Ends” is already DeVotchKa’s third album and it’s their strongest. The album is a huge kaleidoscope of styles and workings. It’s beautiful, epic, profound, dance-worthy, close-your-eyes-and-go-into-a-secluded-coma educing piece of work. This is what music should be.

The album kicks off with the rather straightforward, “You Love Me”, encompassing a Southwestern feel to it. It’s a happy little love-song and really just a prologue to the rest of the album. “The Enemy Guns” is where it starts, bursting into fruition with a Morricone like guitar riff followed by a driving beat and...whistling! “No One is Watching” follows, which is just a twenty-four second or so work, really filler but still pretty good. It launches itself into “Twenty-Six Temptations”, a creepy, pulsing and tense good time. Bassist Jeanie Schroder puts away her upright double bass for this, choosing instead to pull out a tuba of all things. This is where the album begins to move from the Southwestern feel to a hint of something more Eastern European.

One of the best songs on the record comes next: the title track, “How it Ends”. This is easily, hands down, one of the most beautiful songs written in a long while. A resonating keyboard pumps between two chords while singer Nick Urata sings about holding your grandmother’s bible against your breast. It’s slow, sad; yet...profound would really be the only word to describe it. The bridge filled with two violins slowly making their way up across the scales adds to the beauty here. It’s enough to bring a listener to tears at the right time. This song already is hitting something a bit larger than this band currently is. It was featured in the film “Everything is illuminated” and basically serves as the theme for “Little Miss Sunshine” (a soundtrack the band performed). It strays a bit from the Eastern European style of the previous song, but it could not have come at a better place in the album.

The instrumental “Charlotte Mittnacht (The Fabulous Destiny Of...)” comes directly after, delving back to the gypsy styling of earlier. An accordion, performed by Shawn King kicks it off. The album turns back, now experimenting with the often over-looked mariachi scene in rock n’ roll (of course, why should mariachi music be even included with rock n’ roll? So actually it rather helps bring the mariachi scene into rock, much like Calexico) with “We’re Leaving”. It’s probably one of the happiest-sounding leaving songs ever written, but it does make one want to dance.

“Dearly Departed” is another song in the style of the first one. And “Such a Lovely Thing” is an accordion-driven ass kicker. Again, very Romani and very able to make anyone move. “Too Tired” sounds like a child’s song, which is appropriate because the song has a child’s innocence to love all about it. “Viens Avec Moi” brings in some outside musicians for additional instrumentation in this rather creepy song. “This Place is Haunted” isn’t so much a haunting like the previous song that came in before it. It’s a very nostalgic piece, fitting in more with “How it Ends” than any other song on the album. This is the last song with any vocals for the rest of the album.

“Lunnaya Pogonka” welds together the primary influences of the album. The under riding rhythm is distinctly the gypsy influences, while the layers of additional instruments poke with the Morricone finger at the Southwestern roots of the band. It’s all explodes in a glorious climax of notes and rhythms and passions and God knows what else.

“Reprise” closes the album, a fitting and short epilogue to this great piece.

Listening throughout one realizes that this band is really amazing. They’re tight and they know how to play their instruments. And that Nick Urata can sing! It’s a great listen and great to re-listen to over and over. It may have to be ordered, but it’s totally worth it.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS: The Enemy Guns, Twenty-Six Temptations, How it Ends, Such a Lovely Thing, Lunnaya Pogonka


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Comments:Add a Comment 
Shadows
Moderator
August 13th 2006



2530 Comments


This is really bitchin' for a first review. Keep up the good work and welcome to the site. We can always use more solid reviewers.

SeizureToday
August 13th 2006



14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I made a mistake though in the thing. I named one of my characters off the lead singer and through good old dyslexia I got them mixed up. It's actually NICK URATA. God, I'm ashamed.

laikalost
August 14th 2006



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I bought this album after hearing only one song, "How it Ends," and it's taken up near-permanence in my playlist. Despite falling a tad short in a couple areas, DeVotchKa's sound remains somewhat consistently interesting.

pulseczar
August 14th 2006



2385 Comments


Seizure, you can edit your reviews, check your profile area for the option. Great work on this, though.

natey
April 17th 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is so good. "How It Ends" was miraculous driving home from a weird day today.

NotMrBlonde
January 23rd 2009



395 Comments


We're Leaving is the greatest song on this album

rasputin
July 1st 2009



14538 Comments


this is orsome

fireaboveicebelow
July 1st 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

something isn't clicking

rasputin
July 1st 2009



14538 Comments


you have an inherent hatred towards spics?

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

no my good friend alex is totally in that category so that's not it

Buccaneer
June 1st 2010



692 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so yeah, this shit's really good

thatoneguy726
April 7th 2011



1632 Comments


So... Little Miss Sunshine?

conradtao
Emeritus
April 7th 2011



2090 Comments


What a terrible band

Crowe
July 29th 2011



435 Comments


What's wrong with them?

thatoneguy726
November 5th 2011



1632 Comments


You Love Me is kind of a weird song to use for an opener.



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