LA Weekly's INCHES features Xenophanes

Artist: Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Title: Xenophanes
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions (Echo Park)
Format: LP (+ download), pink vinyl, 2000 pressed

You may think you know what an Omar Rodriguez Lopez record is all about -- that you've got it down to a science. Perhaps you've backed the Mars Volta ax-man's genre odysseys into a tight corner that's overshadowed by virtuosic guitar-play and odd time signatures. Perhaps you've written him off. This is, of course, the part where we tell you how terribly wrong you are. With due respect to Rodriguez Lopez's righteous back catalog, Xenophanes is a "real album." Instrumental prowess still abounds, but the man sings here for the first time -- in Spanish -- and he does it quite well. His main squeeze, Mexican pop star Ximena SariƱana, backs his atmospheric crooning, helping him unravel a complex story about a heartbroken women who discovers divine love over the course of 11 lifetimes. The bombast and heavy psychedelia is still there of course, but there are quite moments too, and an overarching melodic awareness that keeps even the most ambitious flights within reach of those of us still here on Earth. - Chris Martins

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