Top Ten Reasons Why Gogol Bordello's Super Taranta! deserves a 4/5 score:
10. The album as a whole seems to be a much more concentrated effort than 2005's Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike. While Gypsy Punks focused mostly on the Balkan meets Jamaican sound, Super Taranta! boasts expertly composed dance dub in "My Strange Uncles from Abroad," sharp punk rock in "Forces of Victory," psycho erotic polka in "Harem in Tuscany," as well as traditional Eastern European music, kissed with dashes of reggae for added danceability.
9. The extreme violin and accordion playing does not let up for the 65 minutes that Gogol Bordello takes over the speakers. Just when you think violinist Sergey Ryabtsev has maxed out his speed, he will play a measure twice as fast and complex.
8. The broken English of Eugene Hütz is as charming as it is amusing. On the rock-inspired "Your Country," Hütz talks/sings confidently, "Your country raise you / Your country fail you / And just like any other country it will break you." The song also incorporates a catchy stuck-in-your-head element that was hard to find on Gypsy Punks.
7. The songs are longer than most punk kids' attention spans, but the inventive composition, lively instrumentation, and impassioned vocal delivery keep the album interesting through more than an hour of music.
6. Step 1: Bet your friends money they can't say "Gogol Bordello" five times fast. Step 2: Count your earnings.
5. The songs off Super Taranta! can inspire Propagandhi-like math equations. For example: Gogol Bordello's "American Wedding" > "American Wedding" starring Jason Biggs and Sean William Scott.
4. Super Taranta! is written as a thematic whole, much like a Hold Steady album with cross-referencing lyrics and recurring ideas. The album highlight "American Wedding" reaches back lyrically to "Supertheory of Supereverything" and the title-track "Super Taranta!."
3. It's about time the suburban punk kids and rebellious WASPs of the U.S. got some real culture. Hütz and Gogol Bordello certainly haven't assimilated into American culture without a fight, and the tales from abroad contain a wisdom and insight that is hard to find in popular music today.
2. The band of Gypsy Punks has made it through the Borat craze unscathed by the Kazakh's lurid Gyspyphobia and espousal of anti-Gypsy principles.
And the number one reason Super Taranta! deserves a 4/5 score:
1. There are no guest appearances by Madonna.