At a time where simply being an immigrant is garnering a heap of attention, Hutz is trying to break off the shackles of that prejudice. Trans-Continental Hustle, much like each Bordello piece before, infuses a distinct European sound that roots back to music from Hutz’s childhood. Hustle all too often is conveyed as a straight redux from its predecessors. Though there is a selection of very catchy and enjoyable tracks, something falls short in the translation.
“All my life I pack/unpack, but man I’ve got to earn this buck, I’ve got to pay representation, to be accepted in a nation,” Hutz reports through an endearing accent on the track “Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)”. Opening track “Pala Tute” comes across as a pseudo-gypsy love song, a topic not much breached elsewhere by Hutz. On an album with thirteen tracks, there is expected to be some downtime. Hustle finds too many songs with slower tempos on the backend of the album. For a band built upon energy, which is at their best when things are hectically out of control, this is an unwelcome occurrence.
Trans-Continental Hustle from all angles appears as a cash cow to a proven formula. Perhaps heavyweight producer Rick Ruben had too much of a vision, but either way Eugene Hutz is a very smart man, and Gogol Bordello certainly has hit a niche in their journey. Ideally, motion and a journey should take you to greener pastures, progression being the goal. A regressive journey is painful, and while this album has some good steps along the way, the end of the trip pulls into Disappointment Station.
Gogol Bordello – Trans-Continental Hustle Track List:
1. Pala Tute
2. My Companjera
3. Sun Is On My Side
4. Rebellious Love
5. Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)
6. When Universes Collide
7. Una Menina
8. Raise the Knowledge
9. Last One Goes the Hope
10. To Rise Above
11. In the Meantime in Pernambuco
12. Break the Spell
13. Trans-Continental Hustle