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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2002
It is true that Thievery Corporation's sound has certainly fleshed out from it's early beginnings on 'Sounds From the Thievery Hi-Fi'. The follow up, 'Mirror Conspiracy', was a great record that blended modern Electronica and World Music into a well balanced sound. So what now? Have they bettered 'Mirror Conspiracy'? Are Thievery Corporation going to takeover the World with their quality blend? Well, may be part of it.
What strikes me about this album is it's songs' similarities to 'Mirror Conspiracy', in two years the sound has not really progressed at all and is really just a continuation of more of the same. It feels as though it's had a bit more money thrown at it with more guest artists and vocalists but it still follows the same themes, instrumentation and, in some cases, melodies.
One criticism of Thievery Corporation is that it is very Coffee Table. It is inoffensive, it's a bleached and westernised version of ethnic music and it's oh so very 'cosmopolitan'. So very cosmopolitan that it is bound to be played during dinner parties, in coffee shops and in trendy wine bars everywhere. This is what puts me off. The music has got so polished and formulaic in it's approach that it has lost it's initial exciting edge. Although pleasant it has no real spark.
To be fair to the album it has it's good points with the opening 'Heavens Gonna Burn Your Eyes', 'Meu Destino', 'State of the Union' and title track, 'The Richest Man in Babylon'. It also features the unusual vocal talents of Emiliana Torrini which adds a little bit of interest to the well buffed sound. So it's not all doom and gloom.
The thing is that there's nothing really wrong with this album and if you've NOT got 'Mirror Conspiracy' then buy 'Richest Man in Babylon' but if your a fan of previous work it may seem all a bit flat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2004
I was first introduced to this amazing album after hearing "Until the morning" on a certain Fragie State complation, and just knew i had to find out what else these guys had done. I was duly rewarded as this album is stunningly good. If u like it funky, yet all mixed up, you'll like this!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I have been eagerly awaiting this album for some time and now that I have it I can say that it doesn't dissapoint. How do you achieve the unachievable? The Thievery Corporation have achieved it with this release which has a more organic sound and feel to it but with the same signature Thievery style. You could play this album with Desmond William's "Delights of the Garden" and know that they are both from the ESL label. On this release they have added more of a World groove to the general theme and in my eyes have released another masterpiece. From the opening track to the close this album will certainly delight everyone. I just hope that they can keep this up for their next release.
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on 26 April 2011
This really is a great album. I guess it's a 'part one' to Radio Retaliation's 'part two', as both albums are very similar, except I would say Richest Man in Babylon is slightly better. The tracks which feature the French singer Lou Lou are sublime, sleazy and downright sexy. Buy it and you won't be disappointed.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2002
Thievery Corporation broke the mould in 1996 with their first album "Sounds from the thievery hi-fi", which seamlessly fused dub, ethnic rythms and samba vocals into one lovely chilled melting pot. It is (and should be) revered as a downbeat classic.
Next came their contribution to the popular DJ Kicks series, which showcased the talents of many lesser known (at the time) artists such as Da lata, Jazzanova and DJ Cam and gave them the recognition they deserved.
The 'Mirror Conspiracy' I felt was a sign of things finally taking shape. There were proper songs with beautiful vocals, and a more formulated structure to their work. In particular I found it leaned more toward a latin approach, and did away with the "Jah! Rastafari! Babylon! ganga!" samples that I felt cheesed things up on "Hi-fi".
Which brings us to their latest effort. What can I say? Erm, is it the same album? Admittedly I was very excited after hearing the beautiful first track 'Heaven's gonna burn your eyes", which reminded me a lot of Air, but from then onwards it was all downhill. The songs all have the same beat, no breaks, very similar chord structures, maybe a spattering of sitar, tablas and some brazilian vocals. And the horrible rasta samples are back! Aagh! All in all, horrendously boring and formulaic. None of it got me going at all.
Thievery Corporation are often mentioned in the same sentence as Kruder and Dorfmeister. Thing is, they did sound similar when 'the K & D sessions' was new and fresh. Look at what Kruder and Dorfmeister have done since. Peter Kruder's excellent Peace Orchestra and Dorfmeister's Tosca keep innovating with each release. It would appear that Thievery Corporation are fairly happy musically to stay where they 'were'.
If you are new to Thievery Corporation, I would recommend "Mirror Conspiracy". If you're after an album to chill to then you may like this. But if you've got and like everything they've done and are curious, I would recommend staying well clear of this disappointing effort.
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on 10 September 2014
This is a great album, full of eastern flavours, brass and bass beats.

Bit trippy/ trancy? Maybe, but what a record to just kick back and chill to. Glad I found it, think you will be too.
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on 28 September 2002
Yet another sublime collection from the masters,its full of lazy, hazy beats and what must be their best collection of vocal guests to date.A masterpiece.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2004
A good follow up to The Mirror Conspiracy but very very similar in style;so much so that you could almost call this Mirror Conspiracy part 2. Theirstudio settings seem to not have moved but nonetheless they have providedsome nice sounds once again.
A thorough and enjoyable album; but notbreaking any new ground
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on 23 January 2015
i'd heard thievery corporation on a movie soundtrack and have enjoyed several of their cd's since ,love it.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2003
Since I liked the Thievery Corporation's first two albums so much, I rushed and bought this without bothering to listen to it first - a big mistake. It was a major disappointment to see that not only have they not evolved at all, they also seem to have run out of ideas. This album lacks punch and verve and seems to be based on a few odd loops and vocals that become a bit repetitive after a while. Okay, so it's chill-out music, but that doesn't mean it should be boring.
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