Devendra Banhart

The Toilet Online | by Andy 5

Rejoicing in the Hands / Nino Rojo

When Devendra Banhart went into the studio to record his new album(s), it must have been apparent to everyone involved, that none of the songs he recorded could have been cut out or disregarded. At least thirty-two songs were finished when the decision came about that they all must be heard. This is how the two albums "Rejoicing In Hands" and "Nino Rojo" came to be. Not a single song on either of these albums seems rushed or appear to have been used as filler. Everything out of the twenty three year old, Devendra Banhart's mouth seems to be so completely perfect, that once his voice is heard, he will be a singer/songwriter that no one will ever overlook or disregard.

His young talent only shows us that he will continue to be a musician who will stand above the rest. Many songwriters reach their prime early in their careers, but Devendra's ghostly voice that haunts and embraces these two separate, yet undeniably related albums tells us that he has only begun. The idea of releasing these two albums months apart from each other gave everyone time to let the material sink in and show its permanency, while waiting anxiously for the other album to grace us. Although they were released separately and months apart, it is obvious that they were intended to go together hand and hand. The similarities in the two are undeniable, yet even with a grand total of thirty-two songs, the two albums never lose their compassion.

The quirkiness of Devendra's songs keep these albums interesting. He seems to state things in a way that may seem odd and even silly at times, but this is the reason he stands out among other artists. The style of which Devendra strums his guitar and the gentle fluctuation of his voice makes listeners feel as if he is in front of you while playing directly to you. This factor seems to have a huge impact on how he affects us and pulls at our heart, song to song. This personal recording style brings us closer and more in tune with how he wants us to interpret what he is saying. Both albums open with a common clearing of his throat that sets the tone for the album. He shows us that we are not excluded from his material and lets us know that while we are listening we are as good as in the same room where the album(s) were recorded.

The two albums are equally compelling and compassionate. He takes elements from many influential artists, yet his style is something that cannot be compared to others. His youthful originality will keep his songs close to your heart. These albums are like nothing i've ever come across before. Without a stretch, these are the two top albums from 2004 and without exaggeration, Devendra is at a place where most artist only dream of. The songs he sings now are only a small insight of what he is capable of. This young man will undeniably leave his mark on songwriting. If there was no hope for music in the past five years, Devendra Banhart gives us another starting point.