“Con Todo El Mundo” – Khruangbin

Took a little detour on revisiting my top 100 albums but we’re back with Con Todo El Mundo by Khruangbin. It’s easy to see why this album didn’t make the cut in 2016: It wasn’t released until 2018.

I think I stumbled on Khruangbin via an NPR Tiny Desk concert. It was an instant click, love at first sound.

The band’s sound is a fusion of influences from around the world. Largely instrumental, you’ll be able to pick out a lot of pop, funk, surf guitar, psychedelic and other influences that all come together to form something really special.

Con Todo El Mundo is still my favorite Khruangbin album, though they’ve been quite prolific since its release with Mordechai, Mordechai Remixes, Texas Moon, and last year’s Ali. (Plus a few singles thrown in and contributing to Paul McCartney’s McCartney III Imagined with a remix of his “Pretty Boys.”

But this album just has that extra something that puts it over the top. Listen to “Lady and Man” for example. It’s got a monster funk groove, some vintage 70s guitar work, with a background chorus that you’ll be singing to yourself long after the album ends.

“Maria Tambien,” is a slinky number that always has me dancing or tapping my feet. Such solid percussion and bass work, it’s deceptively simple and draws you right in.

My favorite track, though, has to be “Evan Finds the Third Room.” Yes, this is the Third Room. Yes. Mark Speer’s guitar is nimble and perfect, Laura Lee’s bass and DJ’s drumming plus a little spoken word chorus make for an instant classic.

They’ve had quite a bit of attention since 2018, but if you haven’t caught up with Khruangbin yet, start with this album. I had the good fortune to snag tickets to see them at The Lincoln in Raleigh at the tail end of 2018 before they really took off and started doing much bigger shows. They’re just as good live as they are on record, which is to say amazing.

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