Gogol Bordello 'Pura Vida Conspiracy' Review

Gogol Bordello 'Pura Vida Conspiracy' Review

Review by Cal Koat

He may sound like Borat, but Gogol Bordello’s charismatic front man, Eugene Hutz is a poet/philosopher of high degree. One of my favorite moments from Pura Vida Conspiracy comes in ‘My Gypsy Auto Pilot’. After a rousing, irresistible gypsy dance chorus, the band drops back and Eugene sings the soulful final refrain,

“But if you keep on watching trains
Swiftly rolling by
One day you will be gone
Without long goodbye
To uncover rules of life
And how to break them well
And the key to your
Gonzo turbo gypsy auto pilot
And your story to tell.”

These are lyrics not only of great depth and gifted insight; they are the proverbial words to live by; not bad for a party folk punk band that has built an incredible head of steam and legions of rabid fans. And, that’s great news for the future of global music in general. The sticker on the album’s shrink wrap declares the new studio album is “Conscious party music for conscious party people.” That’s the over-riding attraction of Gogol Bordello and one of the major draws of punk music. There’s no attempt to transcend this mortal coil, elevating mind and body to a trance-like plane of being. Punk grabs your attention violently, gives you a shake and then gives you (hopefully) the straight goods. In the case of Gogol Bordello, that message is delivered pure and simple; even in easy to understand, broken English. The phrasing reminds me of the bucolic Mongo (Alex Karras) in Blazing Saddles when he declares, “Mongo only pawn in chess game of life.” Pura Vida Conspiracy is a joyous celebration of visionary music, bursting with frenetic energy, global savvy and smart commentary. The cover composite depicts the mustachioed Eugene wearing a crown of smashed space/time conventional reason, as if he were a latter day Einstein. I don’t know his IQ, but I wouldn’t doubt he’s some kind of genius. So, if Pura Vida is ‘Pure Life’, what’s the Conspiracy? Hutz explains, “You know, people are too busy living in a future or they’re constantly living in the past, and very little amount of people have a sense of presence, here and now. And that’s what pure life conspiracy, the whole album is – an uplifting album to remind of your authentic sources of joy of being.”

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