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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la Kaftan!
I want to tell you a story (bare with me here)...several years ago I found myself in a record shop in Amsterdam, I forget the name (I'll leave you to figure out why) holding two cds in my hand with only enough cash for one. The first was The Dandy Warhols Welcome to the Monkey House, a band I know quite well and enjoy, in other words the safe option. The second was...
Published on 24 Sep 2005 by Jon Brown

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8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved parts of it.
I'm new to this guy and I'm going to buy eveything else he's recorded.The best stuff on this cd. is utterly marvellous; but some of it is just boring!It is so uneven,but I'm not detterred,neither should you be.It was worth the money.
Published on 3 Dec 2005 by askal


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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la Kaftan!, 24 Sep 2005
By 
Jon Brown (a field) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Cripple Crow (Audio CD)
I want to tell you a story (bare with me here)...several years ago I found myself in a record shop in Amsterdam, I forget the name (I'll leave you to figure out why) holding two cds in my hand with only enough cash for one. The first was The Dandy Warhols Welcome to the Monkey House, a band I know quite well and enjoy, in other words the safe option. The second was Banhart's Oh Me Oh My.. of which I'd only read a few scant reviews (all of which praised its charm). Unfortunatly (or perhaps fortunatly) the only listening station was knackered. In the end, after much prolonged and fuddled wondering I chose the latter.
Now I'm used to lo-fi but this dude took the biscuit, the majority of songs recorded on knackered dictaphones or his answering machine, background noise hiss and static all audible in the mix - yes it was rough. But his unique voice wove its charm and pretty soon I was entranced. Songs like Cosmos and Demos sounded like they were beamed in from some far flung corner of Lewis Carroll's brain, on Nice People, hell, I haven't heard anyone sound that demented since Syd Barrett on The Madcap Laughter - here, I thought to myself, we are witnessing the musical birth of a true maverick.
Two equally glorious albums later (man this guy's prolific!) and now we are blessed with Cripple Crow, delivered with love all the way from Woodstock. The front cover artwork alone speaks volumes, reminiscent of The Incredible String Band's 'The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter' (by the by, if you're a Devendra fan already check them out - they're a fitting reference point for the music he makes).
So to the songs, and what joyous little ditties they are! Devendra showed signs of expanding his range on its predecessor Nino Rojo with the shambling rock shanty romp of Be Kind and the kazoo freak-out that closed We All Know. However, on Cripple Crow he's really set sail. Fans of his earlier spectral-like folk shouldn't be disheartened though, some of the strongest ones on the album follow this vein, in particular the title track (my personal fave) and the charming Hey Mama Wolf.
What gives this album its colour though is its sense of playfulness and warping of other styles - the psychotic doo-wop of Little Boys (with its rather unsettling lyrics), the way The Beatles starts as quite conventional folk and is suddenly sidetracked by a mariarchi samba band, Chinese Children's spangly glam rock I could go on and on. The tracks in Spanish are equally fantastic, he gave us a taster on Rejoicing in the Hands with one of its strongest tracks Todos los Dolores and I'm glad to report he follows it up here. Despite the fact I have an extremely limited (ie. no) understanding of the language, the way the words trip off his tongue, his whole pronunciation is a joy to hear and makes my lack of comprehension irrelevant.
Right, I've probably bored you now for long enough, you either walked away shaking your head thinking 'wot's that nutter on about eh?' long ago or you're busy putting the album in your basket. Either way makes no difference to me - I already know he's great!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devendra's Latest Marvel, 25 Sep 2005
By 
Juan Mobili (Valley Cottage, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cripple Crow (Audio CD)
There's plenty that has been said about Devendra -the praise is quite deserved- and, not as fairly, about this album being some sort of step back in his musical development.
As far as I'm concerned, all comparisons aside, the material here belongs with and should meet the expectations of those who have been blown away by prior albums.
That Banhart's talent is remarkable will not be news to anyone who's listened to him already, what has not ceased to amaze me is how mature his musical vision is, specially considering how young he is and how adventurous he remains when it comes to writing new songs.
Before I ever heard this album, some people whom I know and respect warned me that I may find it boring or disappointing. Well, that has not been the case for me, you may find Cripple Crow less obscure, more accessible than prior albums but this is not to say that this guy has even come close to "selling out" or "losing his touch."
The fact that these songs may hit you immediately or have you under their spell at first listening, should not be a reason to criticize. After all, "accessible" must not be an indictment. Appreciating complexity is necessary, worshipping "obscurity" for its own sake is for snobs.
Great songs abound, too many to discuss all of them here, still, I'd like to mention the few he sings in Spanish. If your definition of Folk transcends the Anglo tradition, you'll find delight on Banhart gift for Latin American melodies.
All in all, this is an excellent album, and for me, perhaps for different reasons, as awe-inspiring as some of his prior works. Buy it without worries nor hesitation.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devendra, the magician, 16 Aug 2005
By 
This review is from: Cripple Crow (Audio CD)
The songs from Cripple Crow may sound and be labelled as folk, blues, bossa or ballads, but they're not, I mean we should really put a term to this indecent need of labelling everything; these songs are far more than just different musical styles. The songwritting of Devendra and his voice are so personal that you would simply say its Devendra's songs, Devendra's precious children. Devendra, only 23 years old, has the melodic grace of the child strangely sharing room with the incredible maturity of an old soul. These songs would have touched me years ago, and they would have moved me the same if released in the future, they sound so delicate and fresh although timeless. Quixotic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wooop, 16 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Cripple Crow (Audio CD)
yup cd delivered fine and dandy, not devendra's best work but it's filled up my ipod with nice relaxing tunes so thanks
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to do business with., 13 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Cripple Crow [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Received in perfect condition and on time with a great, competitive price. The music itself is a known favourite of mine, an amazing album.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transa!, 7 Aug 2008
By 
R. C. Gimenes ""rsinatra"" (Roskilde, Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cripple Crow [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I don't have much more to add to either Amazon's or the label's reviews of this album, except that one shouldn't forget to mention Caetano Veloso in a review about Devendra. Caetano Veloso is, probably, Devendra's biggest hero, and this album shows a lot of influence from "Transa". Not as much as his Smokey Rolls Down Thunder, but it does. And if there's someone helping to spread the word about the amazing artist that Caetano was and is, it's Devendra, and I really thank him for that. He didn't introduce me to Caetano, but as a Brazilian I'm more than glad to see foreigners taking interest in him and other artists from the Tropicália movement.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faaantastic!!, 20 April 2008
By 
A. R. Blundell "matrixman" (Chelmsford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Cripple Crow (Audio CD)
Saw him live with his band. Blew me away really. Neer heard anything quite lke it. The album reveals quite a lot of what is a huge creative talent. Yes real music does exist. Feel the whole band deserves proper credit, mind!
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8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved parts of it., 3 Dec 2005
By 
askal (Birmingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cripple Crow (Audio CD)
I'm new to this guy and I'm going to buy eveything else he's recorded.The best stuff on this cd. is utterly marvellous; but some of it is just boring!It is so uneven,but I'm not detterred,neither should you be.It was worth the money.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid!, 3 Feb 2009
This review is from: Cripple Crow (Audio CD)
Must be me but I could not get past side 1. One day I might venture further in but I doubt it. Avoid!
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