Thursday, 24 February 2011
Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow 
Cripple Crow was released in 2005 when Devendra was just 24. He already had 4 full albums and one ep on his musical account (and on each album there is from 16 to 24 songs) proving to be one of the most efficient modern musicians. Yet it wasn’t until Cripple Crow that he got popular in wider circles.
This album consists of 22 songs and lasts over 74 minutes, so going into details with each song would kill you, my readers. That's why I will describe it quite briefly. When it comes to music, it’s easy to notice, that Mr Banhart became a more conscious, picky writer. No longer do we get simple quitar-and-me songs, so characteristic for freak folk – the genre that Devendra’s music is most often associated with. The young artist takes a lot from other genres – we can hear jazz, blues, psychedelic and folk inspirations – he is also not afraid of building up more complicated songs. Whereas the first two albums had an average song length of 2 minutes, Cripple Crow makes it in 3 or even 4 (and I can tell you – next album will have even 8 minutes long song!)
Lyrically, Devendra likes to tell simple stories, often a bit fairy-like or touching every day’s happenings. Sometimes he may sound a bit controversial:
Even when the sun ceases to shine
I won’t care, I’ll still have on my mind
So many little boys I wanna marry yeah yeah
I see plenty little kids I’ve yet to have
But we know, he likes being weird;) He also uses spanish which is – I guess – a natural consequence of the fact that he grew up in Venezuela. Well, I have to say I love his latino-spanish songs, like beautiful Quedate Luna. His singing is particularly original, even though sometimes it brings to my mind early Bob Dylan.
I guess everybody can find here a song to like a lot. Personally, my choices would be Santa Maria da Feira – a lovely, dynamic folk song addressed to Devendra’s long time girlfriend and CocoRosie singer – Bianca Cassidy, swinging, slow Korean Dogwood, trance-psychedelic-western Lazy Butterfly, already mentioned Quedate Luna (and of course our common favourite Chinese Children, Juana mia;)!)
Not prolonging, I assume Devendra has something else to offer except for his beautiful eyes, stunning black hair&beard (recently lost!) ... ok, I won’t start naming all perfect parts of his body! But instead – close your eyes and enjoy his overwhelming optimism and the beauty of those simple and enchanting songs!