Molotov Jukebox: Tropical Gypsy

 

review molotov x1 cong

Most albums start off well and then tail off; Molotov Jukebox do the opposite and opener Pineapple Girl (nice snare solo at the start aside) is a little saccharine for us, like the music from a kids’ television show. But it’s not bad, with its horns and energy, and it gets the party started.

This is a party album, or at least a sat-in-a-field-with-a-pint-of-cider album — see this set played in the sun at a festival and you’re going to be thinking life doesn’t get much better.

Track two Just The Thrill beefs out the sound and slows it down a little, a proper tune instead of a dance anthem from Justin’s House.

It’s party music so lively beats are to the fore, with Latino horns, accordion and violin and various dance rhythms, from samba to the accordion-led fohó (a style of music from north eastern Brazil, but you knew that) and cumbia (Latin American dance) to Balkan.

It’s mostly upbeat and relentless cheerful, though songs like the reggae-influenced Halfway There (reggae with Balkan horns and it speeds up after a bit) offer space for a breather.

We’ve got no lyrics but apparently the themes of the human condition such as love, lust, regret and death are featured. If you want references (aside from “the Madness-inspired brass band, we once saw in Holland”) they’re a cross between Gogol Bordello and No Doubt.

The singer is Natalia Tena, a Wildling in Game of Thrones, the one who didn’t say: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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