Album / Artist: Ma / Devendra Banhart
General Comments / Release Notes
Freak-folk, indie easy listening. The first time I heard Devendra Banhart, he was a protege of The Swans' Michael Gira, making mushroom-flashback inducing shamanic folk music that teetered on the edge of the psyche. Of late he has morphed into a modern Indie Folk Brian Ferry. That’s not a bad thing, as his music is still fantastic. It’s just something different, now. Still beautiful and somber, psych-folk, mutations somewhere between Tiny Tim, Leonard Cohen, Donovan and Nick Drake.
RIYL: Nick Drake, Lhasa de Sela, Jay Som
Rated with *****
1. *** Is This Nice 02:54 - Plucked guitar and violin intro melody, upbeat by Banhart’s standards. Strumming and soft.
2. **** Kantori Ongaku 03:41 - Bit of a Dylanesque groove. Funky little rhythm, with a groovy weeping guitar riff and soft sax.
3. Ami 03:55 - slow to midtempo, reminds me of Brian Ferry. Piano and Pink Floyd sax dominate.
4. **** Memorial 04:38 - Somber and sweet. Slow, simple guitar with some string-like accomp. Has a Leonard Cohen quality.
5. ** Carolina 02:32 - Neo-folk easy listening with a Spanish flair.
6. **** Now All Gone 03:37 - Cool bass and keyboard groove. Simple, spare, and robotic with a little bit of a salsa rhythm. Quirky and groovy.
7. *** Love Song 04:22 - Midtempo, psych-folk easy listening beach rock. Oooh-Sha-Sha, reference to 80’s Kajagoogoo?
8. **** Abre Las Manos 03:34 - Another Spanish-flavored psych-folk midtempo easy listener.
9. Taking A Page 03:36 - Buzzy 80’s bass and echoey guitar groove. Midtempo.
10. October 12 03:12 - Soft bossa nova guitar folk with flute. Lyrics in Spanish.
11. **** My Boyfriend’s In The Band 03:30 - Upbeat rock drums and Spanish/English lyrics, Van Morrison like with the brass backing. Play it.
12. ** The Lost Coast 03:10 - Ethereal washes of chimes and sax interspersed with spoken-song. Slow and essentially a Capella. 13. ** Will I See You Tonight 03:23 - Strumming and strings, piano and soft vocal reminiscent of late 70’s adult contemporary album rock.