For a decade plus, the Denver band has churned together gypsy folk, string-drenched film music and pop melodies with the soul of Sinatra and the heart of a punk rocker. The band’s fifth album, “100 Lovers,” is its most sumptuous, teeming with lessons learned and experienced gained. And at its best – the shimmering “Bad Luck Heels” or the pulsating “All the Sand in All the Sea” – the disc is positively transporting.
Singer Nick Urata is DeVotchKa’s key figure, and everything on the album is driven by his velvety croon or tethered to his elegant guitar figures. The compositional scope is broad, and the personality presented is impressively unaffected. The record swerves from the resigned “Exhaustible” to the leathery “The Man from San Sebastian” to the exotic “Ruthless.”
The band plays with an effortless consistency, and so the windswept leadoff track, “The Alley,” burrows just as deeply as the instrumental mad science of the closing “Sunshine.” In between, DeVotchKa satisfyingly scratches an itch that many folks (of a certain age, with rock-scarred-but-still-adventurous ears and a soft spot for a good string-driven crescendo) might have never known they had. And that’s pretty majestic. –WP