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Electronic/Dance - Released April 3, 2020 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Electronic/Dance - Released April 3, 2020 | ESL Music, Inc.

Electronic/Dance - Released April 20, 2018 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 10, 2017 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Thievery Corporation's eighth studio album finds the duo digging ever deeper into their niche, which makes sense considering that they have 22 years' worth of experience behind them and a solid fan base -- a radical reinvention would have been counterproductive. Instead, they deliver a by-the-numbers effort that fully embraces the idea of background music. Their lack of innovation runs deep; despite a number of subtle changes over the years, the music itself sounds incredibly outdated. Everything from the production methods to the synths and strings sound the same as they did on their first few albums. It would genuinely take a lot of effort to re-create the similarities, which leads to the assumption that they haven't attempted to change much. If anything, the defining factor on The Temple of I & I is that it's their most formless record to date. Gone are the more overtly electronic influences (Mirror Conspiracy, Richest Man in Babylon), the attempted comments on society (Radio Retaliation, Culture of Fear), and even their brief forays into psychedelia and sedate bossa nova (Cosmic Game and Saudade, respectively), replaced by what could easily be mistaken for a dub/reggae jam band. For longtime fans this isn't an issue; in fact, anyone who wants to re-create the atmosphere of a low-key world music festival would find it hard to complain. For anyone who isn't a longtime Thievery fan, you're better off looking back at their first few records, all of which were released in the late '90s and early 2000s at a time when downtempo was considered especially hip and, arguably, Thievery Corporation were at their zenith. © Liam Martin /TiVo

Electronic/Dance - Released June 28, 2011 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Despite its pointed title, Culture of Fear is not quite as politically minded as Thievery Corporation's previous studio album. While dubwise tracks such as “Overstand” and “False Flag Dub,” along with the Mr. Lif feature “Culture of Fear,” continue the themes of 2008’s Radio Retaliation, a higher number of cuts -- including “Take My Soul,” “Where It All Starts,” “Is It Over?,” and “Safar (The Journey)” -- feature the duo’s heavy-lidded grooves with seductive female vocals. © Andy Kellman /TiVo

Chill-out - Released July 10, 2014 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Even more similar to its predecessor, The Mirror Conspiracy, than that one was to the first Thievery Corporation LP, The Richest Man in Babylon provides some beat-heavy, languorous excursions into territory long-favored by Thievery Corporation -- namely, the music of Brazil, India, and Jamaica -- but doesn't have the hooks or the production finesse to compete with The Mirror Conspiracy. On the opener, "Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes," guest Emiliana Torrini treasures her vocals endearingly, but the backing could've been taken wholesale from any of a dozen Thievery productions (or perhaps Air's Moon Safari). "The Outernationalist," a bass-heavy trip into ambient-dub headspace, sounds great too, but it also occupies the same territory as a previous track (2000's "Treasure"). Vocalists LouLou and Pam Bricker both return for two features each, practically indistinguishable from their previous tracks. (Of course, it's difficult to resist a bland sound when the bassline for an entire song, "Un Simple Histoire (A Simple Story)," encompasses only four different notes and continues throughout.) Fortunately, a few tracks on the backside do plow new ground, thanks in part to new guests: "Meu Destino (My Destiny)," with the ephemeral falsetto of Patrick de Santos; "Exilio (Exile)," which introduces Afro-Cuban percussion into the Thievery template; and a great feature for Shinehead on "The State of the Union," while Garza and Hilton throw in a few extra beats (for once). Admittedly, a solid set of treading-water productions is vastly preferred to a bad album, especially on the dancefloor. Sure, it could've been worse, but it also could've been slightly different. © John Bush /TiVo
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Chill-out - Released August 9, 2000 | ESL Music, Inc.

Like their debut album, Thievery Corporation's second, The Mirror Conspiracy, is a pleasant album of sublime mid-tempo trip-hop, reminiscent of easy listening groove music, and continually referencing the breezier, atmospheric side of Brazilian, Jamaican, French, and Indian forms. The nocturnal dub-poetry of "Treasures" sets a tone for the bruising basslines and echoey keys throughout the album, and "Lebanese Blonde" is another early highlight, with the graceful vocalese of Pam Bricker framing live sitar by Rob Myers and a Jamaican-style horn section. Brazil represents with a triple-shot of "Air Batucada," "So Com Voce" (with vocals from Bebel Gilberto), and "Samba Tranquille." French chanteuse Lou Lou adds a bit of downtempo continental flair on "Le Monde" and "Shadows of Ourselves," and Thievery Corporation even samples Ella Fitzgerald on the ambient-jungle closer "Tomorrow." As on their first LP, Garza and Hilton occasionally appear satisfied to just push a few grooves and reference their favorite styles of music over the top -- at the expense of any new ideas -- but The Mirror Conspiracy is excellently produced and almost as stylish as the duo's swinging suits on the cover. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic/Dance - Released September 23, 2008 | ESL Music, Inc.

From the title alone, it's clear that Thievery Corporation has more on its mind than just the construction of breezy coffeehouse soundtracks and laid-back global chill. Radio Retaliation is a record of righteous fury (the targets are political, if that even needs to be said) and one that makes their previous efforts sound like Discreet Music in comparison. Thievery amps up their beats, quickens the pace, and unleashes a phalanx of vocal features to attack the D.C.-based Corporation's crosstown rivals on Capitol Hill and at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (Granted, this is still a revolution mostly in the head.) The mélange of worldbeat influences finds all the usual traces (Jamaica, India, Brazil, Nigeria, Arabia), but virtually all of the locales are charted by natives (Sleepy Wonder, Anoushka Shankar, Seu Jorge, Femi Kuti). On the title track, narcoleptic chatter Sleepy Wonder details his list of grievances, speaking for the entire corporation: "50,000 watts of Thievery hit them like poison darts/And watch the whole system what them build up fall apart." The two most important features are Femi Kuti's and Seu Jorge's; first, Kuti uses the track "Vampires" to call out African genocide throughout history (from Kinshasa to Darfur to Lagos to Malabo, Guinea), then Jorge comes next with the yin to Femi's yang, a beatific ode to peace titled "Hare Krsna." Thievery producers Rob Garza and Eric Hilton haven't quite revolutionized their beat-making or production from the past decade, but they sound energized by the political and social events of the 2000s. Despite the politics, there are still a few more of the ethereal masterpieces Thievery Corporation have made a hallmark in the past, including the sublime "Beautiful Drug" (featuring Slovakian singer Jana Andevska) and "Mandala," a guest feature for Anoushka Shankar that's particularly refreshing as an alternative to the usual Indian atmosphere on downbeat records (sampled, not played). The liner notes are a huge 20" x 30" fold-out booklet, including not only the lyrics but numerous quotes from a variety of world figures -- from Einstein, Chomsky, and Edward Bernays to John Lee Hooker and Mos Def. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic/Dance - Released January 10, 2020 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Electronic/Dance - Released April 20, 2018 | ESL Music, Inc.

Electronic/downtempo due Thievery Corporation present their latest record, Treasures from the Temple, the follow-up to their 2017 album Temple of I & I. This release acts as a companion to that album, collating remixes and unused tracks from the same recording sessions that took place in their Jamaican studio. © Liam Martin /TiVo

Chill-out - Released May 17, 2014 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Electronic music ordinances decree Babylon Rewound a "remix collection," but the eight-track set has a lot in common with traditional Jamaican dub albums as it stretches out the tunes from the Richest Man in Babylon album to their laziest and druggiest potential. Problem is, these so-so tunes don't really deserve this treatment, but they're actually improved by all the wandering, since Thievery Corporation are groovier remixers than most. Groovier than Kid Loco -- judging from his smooth jazzing and unnecessary take on "Until the Morning" -- but not as cool as Voidd, who adds a light house touch to "Un Simple Histoire," the highlight by far. Getting lost in Thievery Corporation's dubby remixes is easy, since lazier and looser are qualities their buttoned-up Richest Man could have benefited from. The crooked path the new, reggae-drenched track "Truth and Rights" takes suggests even they're aware of the need to loosen the tie, but it fades right as it catches fire, pulling its punch. Still, there's more sensi and less sensibility than usual, which makes Babylon Rewound necessary for fans and worth checking for dabblers. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Electronic/Dance - Released February 15, 2017 | ESL Music, Inc.

Electronic/Dance - Released September 21, 2010 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Thievery Corporation, the downbeat duo comprised of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, had a knack for floating warm grooves and also for naming their LPs as though they were spy novels (or, more likely, movies soundtracked by Lalo Schifrin or John Barry). Their compilation comes five albums into their career, and includes the one standout track from their discography, "Lebanese Blonde," as well as 15 other discographical highlights. (The full rundown is as follows: three from 2008's Radio Retaliation, four from 2005's The Cosmic Game, five from 2002's The Richest Man in Babylon, three from 2000's The Mirror Conspiracy, and a startling zero from their landmark debut, Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi.) Anyone new to the Thievery phenomenon will find an acceptable sampling of the group's fusion of trip-hop with '70s soundtracks, lounge music, and occasional world music flourishes. Even those with all the albums might be lured in by the presence of the non-album charity single "The Passing Stars," one of the last recordings of Pam Bricker (whose vocals were heard on "Lebanese Blonde") before she committed suicide in 2005. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic/Dance - Released March 13, 2018 | ESL Music, Inc.

Chill-out - Released May 1, 2006 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Chill-out - Released June 7, 1997 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 14, 2020 | ESL Music, Inc.

Electronic/Dance - Released September 6, 2016 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Pop - Released April 10, 2015 | ESL Music, Inc.

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 23, 2017 | ESL Music, Inc.

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