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El Dorado by 17 Hippies
Released: Jan 2009
Label: Hipster Records
This seasoned German group seems to be in the middle of reinvention, and El Dorado is the golden mirror that captures the band in motion. They still excel at taut instrumental gypsy romps, but accordion/vocalist Kiki Sauer introduces a vein of melancholic French pop that quickly overshadows everything else -- you want Sauer cooing into your ear until the world ends or you die, whichever comes first. And then you're shaken out of your reverie by a banjo breakdown in "Atchafalaya" or a Middle Eastern meditation. This kind of internationalism works, rough edges and all.
Sarah Bardeen

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