Devendra Banhart - album review (3 stars)

Devendra Banhart

Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (XL Recordings)

The Devendra Banhart live experience is akin to watching over-excitable teenagers being left in charge for a bank holiday weekend. Listening to him in your home is like being left out of someone else’s joke.

While his folkiosyncratic ways have given us some deliciously eccentric albums, this latest affair is a mish-mash of transparent influences, often moving, occasionally infuriating with tracks providing refuge to names such as ‘Tonada Yanomaminista’ and ‘Samba Vexillographica’. Intermittently coming across like Marc Bolan, Martin Stephenson and Wim Wenders’ old Cuban guys, Banhart appears to have lost his own spectacularly individual voice in the name of bounty hunting eclecticism. (Brian Donaldson)

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