Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
2009-11-11Devendra Banhart's first album on Warner/Reprise titled What Will We Be continues the freak-folk of prior efforts but perhaps in a more straight-forward kind of way. Still, there's plenty of the weird and the psychedelic here too - especially on the track "Rats," in which Banhart sings about love and relationships and not necessarily about rats. The opener, "Can't Help But Smiling," sets the mostly gleeful tone. "Angelika," makes for a great follow-up as Banhart tones things down a little to make a truly beautiful sound. On the song "Baby," happiness is again the topic as he sings: "Baby, I finally know what I'm going after, I'm learning to let in all the laughter, holy moly, yer so funny, you crack me up." The most rock oriented song here is "16th and Valencia Roxy Music," which highlights the electric guitar and the drums to make for a faster-paced song that you just might find yourself dancing to. The final song, "Foolin" has a reggae and Caribbean sort of feel that makes for an apt conclusion to an effort that seems to maintain a largely positive tone. In a nutshell, creativity abounds with the singer/songwriter making most of his shots here. Yes, there's a few missed shots too but Banhart's willingness to venture into the crazy and weird makes him look more like a genius than anything else. For the sheer adventurousness that we find here alone, Banhart wins! ~Reviewed by Jeff Bouma
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