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Their new album is another wicked blend of worldly beats and pieces, with an international cast of vocalists (including dreamy Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini, Jamaican deejay Shinehead and others) adding authenticity to this cruisey cocktail of Eastern, African, Jamaican and loungey European influences. Superbly packaged with a book of photojournalists' images from all around the globe, 'The Richest Man In Babylon' will take you on a hi-fi journey around the world in 57 minutes without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
The presentation has changed from 'Mirror's spying 'n' flying references - the outlook is more earthy, less technical. The CD came with a booklet of excellent black and white photojournalism images on good quality paper. The images feature people from areas which have inspired Thievery's music.
Their early dub style of 'Sounds' is most apparent in the 'Outernationist', and also appears in 'State of the Union' and the 'Richest Man in Babylon'. The title track is certainly the most commercial track here, featuring some Wailers style horns and a regular song structure.
The latin/bossa influence which came to the fore in 'Mirror' is represented by 'Meu Destino' and 'Exilo', both featuring male singing (as opposed to MCing) by Patrik De Santos and Verny Varela. The sound is lighter than previous Jazzanova-esque grooves such as 'Samba Tranquille'. 'Meu Destino' features nylon acoustic guitar by Ramon Gonzales.
Eastern music is represented by 'Facing East', and 'Interlude'. 'Facing East' features santur and tabla, and vocals, which are joined by a breakbeat a minute in.
However Thievery's strongest developing style is in the ambient-pop-breakbeat style which this album confirms as their trademark. The sublime, Cocteau Twins echoing 'Omid' is the direct descendant of the superb' Shadows Of Ourselves', LouLou singing on both.Read more ›