More freak-folk from the leader of the freak-pack. SRDTM delivers on the idea of Devendra Banhart, moving effortlessly from 70s stoner jams, to warm folky riffs, nods to Tropicalia and cheeky numbers answering that old Zappa question: does humour belong in music?
Recorded in Topanga Canyon, the 70s enclave in the LA hills where Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills etc all decamped to play guitar in each other's back yards. That laidback spirit fills this album; a retro exercise perhaps, but the songs are strong enough to make it feel relevant in 2007. It's got that feeling of a band hanging out, living and breathing the songs, and seeing where they can take them.
The immediate winner is Seahorse, a three-part epic that rolls from an acoustic opening to take in touches of The Doors, Dave Brubeck, The Stranglers' Golden Brown, Wild Wood-era Paul Weller etc, all with his Marc Bolan-ish vibrato over the top; feels like a lost classic that's going to storm live. Kind of fitting that it's about reincarnation with so many references tucked in.
Tonada Yanomaminista is a triumphant, summery singalong, almost breathless at 2:53; Bad Girl is as mellow as Fleetwood Mac's Albatross; Seaside a moving piano ode to er, the seaside; Latin flavours come out on Samba Vexillographica, Carmencita and Rosa; Shabop Shalom and So Long Old Bean fun songs that break up the fragile romance of My Dearest Friend and I Remember.
One of 2007's strongest albums so far.
Like his alternative list of album titles:
Milk the Wind
Shes a Hot Dog
Hubba Hubba Planet
Electric Pizza Cops
Foreskin Sword (what it is & how to use it)
Mama, Mujhe Mall se Jeans Lenee Hai
Porkin' the Broken Knee (Electroxtensial Chop!)
Who is Kadamon?
The Burnt Frizbee
Abhor the Coagulator (1964 version)
Koala Mans Return to Pineapple Temple
Bacchanalian Beat Box
Thrice the Phat Magus
Gaga Blood & the Balls of .......
Rich Gals Shampoo n' Conditioner Blues
Talkin Weleda Haushka Bronners Blues
Cyber Christ and the Gnostic Titi-Slap Part Deux
You Who are Familiar with Grandma's Hyacinth