Gogol Bordelo’s latest album, Pura Vida Conspiracy makes a case for their best album to date. For me it’s tough to decide between this new album and their first album, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike, but to be fair their latest effort features a few more members added to the band since their early days who greatly compliment the band’s dynamic. After attending the band’s in-store acoustic performance at my local record store the night before the album’s release, the crowd learned an interesting fact about two of the songs on he album. The song titled “My Gypsy Auto Pilot” was shortened during the final stages of recording process of the album. The song’s original working title was “My Gypsy Conzo Auto Beatnik Turbo Pilot,” which is reflect on the track listing printed on the back of the jacket as the long version of the title is printed with several words crossed out to show the final title. Also, “Dig Deep Enough,” the second track on the album, was originally slated to be the opening track but at some point during the recording/mixing process it was pushed deeper on the album. Personally I would have preferred that original track listing rather than having “We Rise Again” open the album, “Dig Deep Enough” would open Pura Vida Conspiracy brilliantly.
There are at least two variants for Pura Vida Conspiracy; a regular variant with the regular artwork an indie record store exclusive variant that has an exclusive cover with alternate artwork. The regular cover variant features the traditional album artwork and is pressed on white vinyl. Included inside the jacket is a bonus 7”, also pressed on white vinyl, that features two exclusive b-sides from the album, “Crack The Case” and “Jealous Sister.” The regular cover variant comes with a download code and a four page fold out insert that has the lyrics printed on two pages, liner notes on another and a live shot of the band on the final page. The download code does include both of the bonus tracks to album that are found on the bonus 7″ that accompanies the regular cover variant, but there is a catch. “Crack The Case” is a stand alone song while “Jealous Sister” is a hidden track that comes after the final track on the standard version of the album, “We Shall Sail.” You’ll notice that “We Shall Sail” appears to be a long song clocking in at over 10 minutes, but in reality it’s only a 3:42 song. After about four minutes of silence “Jealous Sister” kicks in, starting at the 7:38 mark.
The indie record store exclusive variant was announced about a week before the record was released. It has been a hot seller and my local store sold out of the five copies it got in through pre-orders for a in-store performance the band was doing in a matter of hours. This variant comes pressed on black vinyl with blank white center labels. It’s limited to 800 copies and is hand numbered on the cover. The artwork is meant to mimic a brown paper bag and is printed on chipboard. This variant also does not come with three main things found with the regular variant; a download code, the bonus 7” or an insert.
At first the band’s official online store implied the white vinyl would be an LP pre-order exclusive, but that turned out not to be the case when as far as I can tell all copies of the regular cover variant were pressed on white vinyl. Their store also boasted that the bonus 7” was exclusive to their pre-order, which also turned out to not be true either as all copies of the regular cover variant come with the bonus 7” slid inside the jacket. Sometime between one and two weeks before the album’s release their online store changed the description for the LP pre-order to reflect that none of the things they advertised as “exclusives” were actually exclusive.