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Devendra Banhart - oh me oh My....

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oh me oh My....

Devendra Banhart

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Language available : english

The first thing that strikes you about Devendra Banhart is his utterly unique and soft voice, which seems a mix of Nick Drake and Marc Bolan. "Roots (If the Sky Were a Stone)" is a perfect example of this, as Banhart uses his vocals and an acoustic guitar to get his brief yet often memorable points across. Originally recorded on shoddy and broken four-track recorders, the songs have a definitive roughness and audible hiss on nearly all of them, giving them a certain authenticity rarely found. Cars can be heard driving past in "The Charles C. Leary," but that performance is only one of the many highlights here. A number of the tracks are less than or just over one minute in length, often stream-of-conscious poetry put to music. The fragility heard in "Nice People" resembles Victoria Williams but evolves into a Syd Barrett song structure, speaking of "wide ass suits and lion tattoos." Barrett can be discerned throughout the record, especially during "Gentle Soul." "Cosmos and Demos" lends itself more toward Pink Floyd performing something from Echoes, perhaps the acoustic-oriented "Fearless." Lyrically the songs are quite odd and occasionally nonsensical, particularly "Michigan State." Here Banhart speaks of a friend who has his favorite teeth and ears. Perhaps comparisons could be drawn to Hawksley Workman and Hayden to a lesser extent, but Banhart makes both artists sound bland in comparison. "Lend Me Your Teeth" is the most mainstream-structured arrangement, with Banhart showing a bit more intensity. The standout track would have to be "Miss Cain," which has a pretty harmony vocal to it as Banhart picks his guitar in a rather intricate fashion. "Soon Is Good" is the most promising track, but the sound levels tend to fluctuate from verse to verse. An almost ethereal and angelic performance compensates for its shortcomings, though. A lot of the songs appear to be not fully realized, but perhaps that's the beauty of them. When tracks like "Pumpkin Seeds" are entirely flushed out, it's pure magic as the acoustic folk angle is played out to near perfection. "Legless Love" has a handclap tempo to it that resembles a flamenco style as Banhart describes burying songs in snails. Throughout the record, Banhart is never guilty of being artistic just for the sake of being artistic. Each track rings true and can't be deemed contrived. "Donal and Colter" is the most up-tempo song, but even then it's still mid-tempo at best.
© Jason MacNeil /TiVo

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oh me oh My....

Devendra Banhart

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1
Ticks Eats The Olives...
00:00:40

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

2
Roots...
00:01:36

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

3
The Charles c. Leary
00:02:49

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

4
Nice People...
00:03:18

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

5
Animals...
00:01:28

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

6
Cosmos And Demos
00:03:36

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

7
Michigan State
00:03:51

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

8
Lend me Your Teeth
00:01:58

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

9
Hey Miss Cane
00:03:23

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

10
Soon is Good
00:04:07

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

11
Tell me Something
00:01:12

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

12
The Red Lagoon
00:01:17

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

13
A Gentle Soul
00:02:03

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

14
Happy Happy oh
00:01:30

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

15
Pumpkin Seeds
00:04:34

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

16
The Thumbs...
00:02:08

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

17
Legless Love...
00:02:12

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

18
Marigold
00:01:57

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

19
Make it Easier
00:00:59

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

20
Ones
00:02:25

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

21
Little Monkey
00:01:55

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

22
The Spirit is Near
00:01:28

Devendra Banhart, Composer, MainArtist

2002 Black Babies Publishing (BMI) 2002 Young God

Album Description

The first thing that strikes you about Devendra Banhart is his utterly unique and soft voice, which seems a mix of Nick Drake and Marc Bolan. "Roots (If the Sky Were a Stone)" is a perfect example of this, as Banhart uses his vocals and an acoustic guitar to get his brief yet often memorable points across. Originally recorded on shoddy and broken four-track recorders, the songs have a definitive roughness and audible hiss on nearly all of them, giving them a certain authenticity rarely found. Cars can be heard driving past in "The Charles C. Leary," but that performance is only one of the many highlights here. A number of the tracks are less than or just over one minute in length, often stream-of-conscious poetry put to music. The fragility heard in "Nice People" resembles Victoria Williams but evolves into a Syd Barrett song structure, speaking of "wide ass suits and lion tattoos." Barrett can be discerned throughout the record, especially during "Gentle Soul." "Cosmos and Demos" lends itself more toward Pink Floyd performing something from Echoes, perhaps the acoustic-oriented "Fearless." Lyrically the songs are quite odd and occasionally nonsensical, particularly "Michigan State." Here Banhart speaks of a friend who has his favorite teeth and ears. Perhaps comparisons could be drawn to Hawksley Workman and Hayden to a lesser extent, but Banhart makes both artists sound bland in comparison. "Lend Me Your Teeth" is the most mainstream-structured arrangement, with Banhart showing a bit more intensity. The standout track would have to be "Miss Cain," which has a pretty harmony vocal to it as Banhart picks his guitar in a rather intricate fashion. "Soon Is Good" is the most promising track, but the sound levels tend to fluctuate from verse to verse. An almost ethereal and angelic performance compensates for its shortcomings, though. A lot of the songs appear to be not fully realized, but perhaps that's the beauty of them. When tracks like "Pumpkin Seeds" are entirely flushed out, it's pure magic as the acoustic folk angle is played out to near perfection. "Legless Love" has a handclap tempo to it that resembles a flamenco style as Banhart describes burying songs in snails. Throughout the record, Banhart is never guilty of being artistic just for the sake of being artistic. Each track rings true and can't be deemed contrived. "Donal and Colter" is the most up-tempo song, but even then it's still mid-tempo at best.
© Jason MacNeil /TiVo

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