Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Will Be, Will Be

Since the 2007 release of Smokey, Dev has been keeping himself very busy. His just recently released What Will Be is such a new, refreshing approach to his sound that it seems he has found yet another way to reinvent himself. There are those who would say that this album is a step backwards for him as it is a lighter approach musically, and it is following the extremely well received Smokey. However, i believe this to be such an inaccurate statement after listening to this album to its full extent. I first received a taste What Will Be in late September when he opened for his companions in Little Joy under the pseudonym Swami Save Us Jr. He performed a delightfully raw and stripped down set differing greatly from his usual larger band jam session sets. He opened with the single Baby in a joyous symphony of spontaneity and whimsy. He continued into also showcasing 16th & Valencia Roxy Music; the way this number was performed was eerie and haunting in a very enjoyable way, however this song falls very flat on the album. I feel as this is the worst cut due to its forced vibe that seems like it was made solely for an American Eagle fiting room. However bad for Banhart, is still fantastic as far as other artists are concerned, and even the 'worst' track on this album still has its pleasent moments. The opening cut from the album Can't Help But Smiling, is a bubbly little jive that flows like a picturesque honey moon in the 1920's. It showcases the playmanship of this album musically. The bop and sway of the begining of Angelika is a light toe tapper that eveolves into a full scale latin bossa wonderful explosion all over your face. Which is very stylistic and appreciated from Dev at this point. Chin Chin & Muck Muck is jazz at its purest level, and for a non jazz heavy musician, this showing is extraordinarily exciting, and the lovely lyrics that float atop it add to its cool cool sound. He pays much homage to his Smokey sound in Rats, with the funky mud sludginess verse to quick quirky coolness choral transitions. As for Maria Lionza, the sound is too surreal to explain, and can only be fully appreciated by listening to this cut for yourself. (opt. if doable, listen to in a nocturnal setting) arguably one of his best tracks, of all his discography. Simply Brilliance. So after listening to this album, i feel that Banhart has not taken a step down at all. Contrariwise, I feel he has stepped up his game with an entirely new vibe and sound that he had no fear in revealing to everyone. Maybe not the best album for the "Banhart Faithfuls", but for those of you who are trying to get a taste of this guy, and want to ease into it, or anyone who just appreciates a talented musican showcasing himself very well, i highly recommend this album!

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