Devendra Banhart : Rejoicing in the hands

Psychedelicfolk (NL)| by Gerald Van Waes

From a newsletter

Our singer-songwriter specialist was one of the only ones not raving about the first album. He just didn't like that lo-fi, for him, too much accidental songwriting of the first album. Personally I think the quality and musical expressive ideas compensated enough for this. Before reviewing this album I listened back to that album, and still enjoyed it much. Brilliant moods, guitars, ideas, expressive singing sometimes on the edge of weird: all was there.
This time Devendra recorded all in a studio, so please no more complaints about that, and no confusions about deliberately mystifying someone by the lo-fi discovery-effect! The true natural feel of Devendra still convinces, his somehow unforgettable, unique voice, without a necessity to be weird. I guess everything is done for a perhaps even quite pleasant and song-driven natural flow of expression, that becomes art, rather than having put "art" as a goal on its own. Here and there a track reminds me of really very old blues, or so, -without the problems. A couple of tracks have some extra arrangements for the effect to starken the musical essence in these songs.
Conclusion: the weirdness of the first album is replaced by a matured expression. Devendra definitely proved to be worth the stay, and I guess this attitude also will attract a bigger audience. This is no longer a production attractive only for those who love the obscure and weird, the abnormal. The home-recorders feel now is totally dissolved. So, this comes highly recommended.