Certain cultures believe photography steals a person’s soul. It’s not exactly the “soul” of globe-trotting rabble-rousers Gogol Bordello that gets lost when a snapshot of their breakneck collision of Eastern European folk and hug-it-out punk is captured on disc, but results have yet to vary. Next to their raucous live shows, albums are hollow, pale imitations, and full-length No. 5 is no different.
- Gogol Bordello
- Trans-Continental Hustle
- Beyond the Weekly
- Gogol Bordello, official site
Nevertheless, revolution and diversity remain at the thematic foreground of the band’s Columbia debut. The curious Rick Rubin pairing manifests itself through noticeable production sheen and the inclusion of comparatively low-key breathers like accordion-swept “Sun Is on My Side,” and slow-building “When Universes Collide,” while “Uma Menina Uma Cigana” and “Last One Goes the Hope” settle around a comfortable 55 instead of the band’s typical 60 revolutions-per-minute. At least it’s nice to know that as Eugene Hutz’s newly adopted Brazil widens his ever-expanding horizons, it doesn’t leave him too mellow.