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Wednesday, Dec 2 2009

Anyone who thinks having a split personality is a bad thing hasn't had much exposure to Califone. For the past 20-some years, the group has been embracing its inner Sybil while refining its approach to genre-splicing. Merging the blues-rock of progenitor Red Red Meat with acoustic folk gentility, an abiding affection for noise, and an irrepressible experimental bent, Califone has settled on a prismatic sound that is singular in its cohesive pluralism. That such an eclectic and adventurous unit would emerge almost fully formed from the ashes of staunch blues-rockers Red Red Meat seems odd, until you listen to that band's swan song. Califone picks up where There's a Star Above the Manger Tonight left off, and spirals away from there, somehow managing to swirl everything seamlessly together.

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Nicholas Hall


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