SOULFUL BANHARTOh Me Oh My . . . Young God Records Take one damaged 21-year-old drifter, give him an acoustic guitar and some busted four-track recorders, and the result is a compelling mix of the eccentric and the sublime.
Certainly Devendra Banhart's beautifully raw debut album sounds like nothing else, from the tremulous vocals of "Nice People" and the abstract guitar pickings of "Pumpkin Seeds" to spates of ambient noise and stream-of- consciousness lyrics. "Oh Me Oh My . . ." (full title: "Oh Me Oh My the Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit") is more than just spittle in the face of an over-processed music industry. Soulful, troubling and troubled, it's a spiritual manifesto from a one-man species.