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Rejoicing In The Hands (Of The Golden Empress)

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Devendra already stands in a league of his own

He's the man you wish you could go travelling with, the man you wish would write songs especially for you, the man who makes you wish you could grow a beard. Devendra Banhart is one of those 'singer-songwriter' chaps, on a one-man crusade armed with just his guitar and sweet enchanting voice. And on this, his third album, Banhart has hit the perfect formula that won the 60s over.

It's the sound of a maturing man playing songs from his childhood memories. There's an innocent factor present in each track, and it's that sense of wonder in Devendra's voice that brings the whole album together. From the languid rolling of 'Poughkeepsie' to the effervescent 'Todo Los Dolores' (which isn't as depressing as the title suggests), each of Banhart's songs create a magical sense of wellbeing that's lost in so much of music's other offerings. 'This Beard is for Siobhan' is a Woodstock anthem in the waiting which will have you chanting "a real good time" for hours on end.

You can make comparisons to Marc Bolan, Syd Barrett and Nick Drake, but Devendra already stands in a league of his own. Banhart's passion for his music is evident - there's not one song on 'Rejoicing In The Hands...' that suggests otherwise. Released in perfect time for the British 'summer', it's an album you'll need while lazing in the sun.

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