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Tango Lorca

What I know about tango can be jotted on a napkin: Astor Piazzolla is the genre's Duke Ellington. It first appeared in mid-19th-century Argentina. And I feel indifferent toward it. (Still, Last Tango in Paris is one of the best films ever.) This admission made, Tango Lorca's Mujer Sola has opened my mind to tango's sublimely melancholy melodies, grandiloquent dynamics, and rich aura of old-world élan. Sophisticated indie-rock fans who fancy Godspeed You Black Emperor! will probably enjoy this Kansas City ensemble's flagrantly romantic melodic swoops and unexpected rhythmic shifts. (Whether they can stomach that accordion is a whole other matter.) Some of the songs here are as cloying as a maudlin aunt at a wedding, but most of Mujer Sola infuses this quaint music with the gusto, rococo beauty, and elegance of the dance with which it's associated.

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