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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Eclectic Prog

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Calibration (Is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far) album cover
2.92 | 34 ratings | 8 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mexico (3:00)
2. El Monte Tai (2:33)
3. Una Ced Lacerante (2:47)
4. Calibration... (3:36)
5. Grey (Cancion Para El) (3:29)
6. Glosa Picaresca Wou Men (3:27)
7. Sidewalk Fins (6:32)
8. Lick the Tilting Poppies (5:17)
9. Cortar El Cuello (3:24)
10. ...Is Pushing Luck (8:11)
11. Las Lagrimas de Arakuine (11:11)

Total Time 53:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Omar Rodriguez-Lopez / guitars, bass (6,7,8), synthesizer (1,3,6,7,8,11), Mexican harp (1), vocals & lyrics (2,7,8), vocals (4), Wurlitzer (3), tea kettle (3), tus (5), Rhodes (7), drum machine (7), clavinet (8)
- Juan Alderete / bass (1,2,4,7,10,11)
- Thomas Pridgen / drums (1,7,11)
- Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez / drums (2,4,8,10), percussion (2,6,10), synthesizer (1,6,7,11), clavinet (6)
- Adrián Terrazas-González / woodwinds & percussion (2,10)
- Money Mark / synthesizer (2,10)
- Cedric Bixler-Zavala / vocals & lyrics (4,10)
- John Frusciante / vocals & lyrics (6)
- Sara Christina Gross / saxophone (7)
- Tina Rodriguez / vocals (1,6)
- Kim Humphreys / violin (2,5,8)

Releases information

NO2 Records N20J-114 CD Released in Japan on December 15, 2007, and in the U.S. on February 5, 2008

Thanks to ayakazoob for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Calibration (Is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far) ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Calibration (Is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Moatilliatta
2 stars As much as The Mars Volta makes me salivate all over the place, the band's mastermind has consistently kept my mouth dry with his solo releases. Granted, this is not meant to be The Volta and shouldn't be criticized for not being like them, but that is not what I do! Omar just has a problem where he has way to many ideas to handle (not too different from my own band), but instead of just putting all of the good ones towards his primary band and trashing the rest, or letting them sit for a bit and eventually he'll figure out something great to do with them, he decides to record everything else and release it under his name. Sure, a couple of his releases are pretty enjoyable. However, I can't help but get the feeling that the man is just using the fame of The Mars Volta to sell these scrapes of ideas he has sitting around and make some extra money, because artistic integrity would have suppressed half of these releases. Maybe some people really do see value in these releases (they're brainwashed I tell you!), but with Calibration, I don't see how the yeasayers of before can continue saying "yea," which to the best of my recollection is only used regularly in Congress, so you should get with the times people. On a side note, "yea" how I spell "yeah" on AIM and I spell "yea" "yay;" it's a habit I haven't broken, but it's not like I am saying "yea" and meaning "yea" like those yeasayers I was just talking about.

Anyway, this album is a bunch of mediocre ideas that sound like ones from his other albums. Unfortunately, being such a slobber-soaked Volta fan, I feel like I should check out Omar's solo albums, and I can't say that I listen to any of them anymore (even the good ones). But this album isn't a travesty, and I'm sure somebody will still say "yea" to this. Maybe if this is your first Omar solo album you might get something out of it, but for those who have heard one or two or more already, there is nothing to hear on this one.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars One of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez albums you can easily leave on the shelf. Whenever bigger part of this great musician's solo works is really more experimental (and often more interesting) than more respectable ( if The Mars Volta's music could be named "respectable") his main band's albums, some solo albums are just fillers.

This one is from such category. You can find there almost all TMV musicians participated in recordings (in different combinations), and bigger part of songs are with different vocalists singing ( not only Cedric Bixler-Zavala ). But it doesn't change situation too much - in fact this album sounds as chaotic and badly recorded and mixed collection of TMV outtakes and rehearsals.

There are few small interesting musical moments, but generally material is very raw, songs are unfinished, placed on album in chaotic order, without minimal useable production. And music itself is mostly uninspired. Just dirty sounding pieces of songs or demo compositions.

Possibly, this release still could be interesting for TMV/O-R-L heavy fans and researchers, but has nothing to offer to regular music listener.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I haven't heard *all* of Omar's solo albums(who has the time or money?), but of the 5 or so I have heard this is one of the best. I stumbled upon this in a music store(remember those?). It was the only ORL they had. Being a big Mars Volta fan at the time I bought it. This is a frustrating album because it is neither good nor horrible. Overall it just seems like a bunch of half-finished ideas. It's a good thing Cedric is here. Sort of. He only appears on two songs which are basically the same song. The title track has Cedric with an absolutely annoying computer-generated effect on his vocals during the chorus. The rest of the song isn't bad. "...Is Pushing Luck" is basically the same song but in more of a dub fashion. It's longer, spacier and you can actually hear Cedric sing: "I came to warn you that I haven't got a clue".

The rest of the album I can describe as: trippy, rockin', electronic, Latin, freaky, mellow. There are some violin parts here which aren't too bad. Some of the guitar riffs are really good and should have been worked on more. Omar himself does most of the singing. John Frusciante sings on one song. Nothing really stands out except the two songs I mentioned. His album Old Money is the best thing I've heard him do solo. I should pick that up one of these days. Don't expect to hear anything like The Mars Volta here. 2.5 but I'm gonna round it off to 3 because this isn't a total throwaway.

Review by Kempokid
4 stars This is undoubtedly one of the strangest ORL solo albums I've heard up to this point, but not quite in the same, surreal way as some of his other material. Calibration is another one of Omar's more abstract, formless takes on his music, but this time around it doesn't end up feeling quiet as vividly experimental or eclectic as material from albums like Manual Dexterity, instead almost feeling like a middle ground between the extremes of his sound while also branching out into becoming entirely its own thing. The album manages to feel quite difficult to pin down in a lot of cases, feeling as if only the bare essentials have been put on display and very rarely feeling like the fully fledged, dense compositions and jams of his past work, instead focusing on one specific element at a time and then devoting every facet of focus to developing that idea. This leads to a lot of bizarre, yet interesting experiments such as with the sparse, noisy opening track Mexico, with its effects laden glitchy sound combined with an ethereal vocal performance making for a rather unique track that encapsulates the idiosyncrasies of the album as a whole very well.

Even the big finale Las Lagrimas de Arakuine, which is easily the most Volta like track here, still sounds rather different to what one might expect when hearing a song labelled as such, instead being closer to an extended outro with a perpetual sense of finality to it more than a song in its own right, closer to one of the instrumental breaks in Frances The Mute, as an example. I think it's an interesting decision that works rather well however, and it's just yet another layer of odd choices that end up contributing to this album's unique vibe. I also find it really cool how many guest musicians from various points in The Mars Volta's career as well as a few others also find their way into this, yet often feel as if they're playing pretty subtle, or at least subdued roles in their respective positions as to never overpower anything else or take attention away from what the song is trying to achieve. Overall this is definitely worth a listen but is strange in a few ways that make it pretty difficult to appreciate on a first or even 2nd listen, at least that's what I felt, but even so, it's a good enough album to be worth sticking with it for a bit to see if it clicks, because once it does, this ends up being some truly compelling material that's got a lot to love about it.

Best tracks: Mexico, Glosa Picaresca Wou Men, Lick the Tilting Poppies, Las Lagrimas de Arakuine

Latest members reviews

3 stars A diabolic hallucination Futuristic avant-garde prog, diabolic hallucinations or bad dreams. Frantic noise , distinctive Volta like Omar guitars, experimental, annoying, beautiful, confusing, avant-prog. Was some of the first words that came to mind when I was thinking about how to revi ... (read more)

Report this review (#635221) | Posted by tamijo | Friday, February 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is one fantastic mess. I'm quite surprised to see that Calibration is recieved so poorly on this site. This is not a prog album by any means, more of an experimental free-for-all. All of the tracks are bizarre and heavily mixed and the album lacks fluidity as a whole...but thats what ... (read more)

Report this review (#204567) | Posted by Sgt. Smiles | Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars this album as all the albums of omar have a great songs an totaly bad songs,extreamly boring to hear a complete album from omar. this album have a lot of influences of the last album of marsvolta is like an extencion but just the sound. Calibration the single is very experimental like allways and ... (read more)

Report this review (#169560) | Posted by criarpo | Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is an alright album, but it just does not cut it for me. I like Mars Volta's, but this album is just....kind of....boring. Omar is an amazing guitarist, but I would stick with his self titled album, now that was brilliant, but this album kind of dissapointed me. Calibration was an intere ... (read more)

Report this review (#163330) | Posted by Prog_Rocks | Thursday, March 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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