Devendra Banhart | Niño Rojo

The Guardian | by Molloy Woodcraft

A joyful noise indeed.

Banhart's second album of the year was recorded at the same sessions as the first, the 'niño rojo' of the title apparently being the offspring of the 'goddess' of the previous affair's long-winded title. Thankfully the concept does not extend much beyond this; however this album is as drenched in the same hippyish pastoral whimsy as the last. Fortunately, like his obvious hero Marc Bolan, Banhart has a fantastic way with sweet, simple melodies and backs himself as before with excellent picked guitar. The slow waltz 'Noah' drips with honey; 'Horseheadedfleshwizard' achieves a lugubrious incantatory quality; and the five-minute closer 'Electric Heart' builds from bare acoustic guitar through multilayered vocals to encompass a muted brass section. A joyful noise indeed.