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Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing In The Hands

  by Mark Rowland

published: 13 / 6 / 2004

Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing In The Hands
Label: XL
Format: CD


Splendid, second-full length album, and "perfect modern folk record' from the much-acclaimed Devendra Banhart, which proves ideal listening matter for all situations

2004 is set to be Devendra Banhart’s year. The 22-year-old folk singer has just released his second proper album, 'Rejoicing in the Hands', and the media can’t seem to get enough of him. With a voice that sounds like a cross between Jeff Buckley and Jack White, a weird hippy nutcase persona and some cracking tunes, Devendra Banhart and 'Rejoicing in the Hands' are likely to seep slowly into the public consciousness and stay there for a long time. Banhart’s music has got quite a lot in common with both Jeff Buckley and his dad Tim. It is delicate, emotional and full of imagery. It’s also very stripped down, with many songs featuring just voice and guitar. This is the first album that Banhart has recorded in a proper studio, which give the songs a clearer sound than on previous releases and in places songs are strengthened with string and piano parts which in a way is reminiscent of Nick Drake’s more sparse work. Opener 'This is the Way' sets the mood for the whole album, with gently picked and strummed acoustic guitar and an upbeat, incredibly catchy melody line. 'It’s a Sight to Behold' flows gracefully over fluttering string parts, while the simplistic 'The Body Breaks' paints a picture of perfect love with its innocent imagery. Other songs shift between dark and light imagery, though always with a slight childlike innocence. 'Will is my Friend' is slow, gentle and sophisticated. 'This Beard is for Siobhan', however, is an odd bit of fun with great lines like "Because my teeth don’t bite/I can take them out dancing/I could take my little teeth out and I could show them a real good time." This a perfect modern folk record, with great track after great track, each different enough to maintain your interest while keeping some continuity. 'Rejoicing in the Hands' can be the perfect laid back soundtrack to summer barbecues or rainy days in, something to listen to while you work or any time you feel like lying back, relaxing and listening to good music. Essential for anyone who has taste.

Track Listing:-
1 This Is the Way
2 A Sight to Behold
3 The Body Breaks
4 Poughkeepsie
5 Dogs They Make Up the Dark
6 Will Is My Friend
7 This Beard Is for Siobhan
8 See Saw
9 Tit Smoking in the Temple of Artesan Mimicry
10 Rejoicing in the Hands
11 Fall
12 Todo los Dolores
13 When the Sun Shone on Vetiver
14 There Was the Sun
15 Insect Eyes
16 Autumn's Child

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