CD What Will We Be [Digipak] (CD 6241944),
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What Will We Be [Digipak]
1. Can't Help But Smiling
4. Goin Back
5. First Song For B
6. Last Song For B
7. Chin Chin & Muck Muck
8. 16th & Valencia Roxy Music
10. Maria Lionza
12. Meet Me At Lookout Point
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 520960
Devendra Banhart; Paul Butler
Audio Mixers: Luckey Remington; Devendra Banhart; Tony Mangurian; Paul Butler.
Recording information: California.
Arrangers: Luckey Remington; Greg Rogo Ve; Devendra Banhart; Noah Georgeson; Gregory Rogove; Paul Butler.
Setting aside the grand orchestrations of SMOKEY ROLLS DOWN THUNDER CANYON, Devendra Banhart's WHAT WILL WE BE is everything its predecessor was not: straightforward, cleanly produced, consistently laid-back (to nearly Jack Johnson proportions), and free of ambition. Banhart enlists the same band as last time (Noah Georgeson, Greg Rogove, Luckey Remington, and Rodrigo Amarante), but hired production whiz Paul Butler, whose records with A Band of Bees are some of the most striking productions of the 2000s. The double-tracked vocals give the album the same air as Banhart's early four-track experiments, but there's no haunted quality, just an occasional hippie-dippie aside in his delivery. Recorded in Northern California, WHAT WILL WE BE often has the same slacker sensibilities and scent of ocean breeze that Jack Johnson has made his name with (read: funky white-bread basslines and closely miked drums played with plenty of whisk). Banhart's persona emerges intact despite the mainstream sound, however, and WHAT WILL WE BE becomes a pleasantly fresh album to follow the ponderous, sprawling SMOKEY ROLLS DOWN THUNDER CANYON.
Rolling Stone (p.75) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The sixth studio album by Devendra Banhart is the best he's ever made....Proof comes early in 'Baby,' a ball of dancing guitars and choral glaze that sounds like a woodland Beach Boys..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.58) - "[Banhart is] more energized than ever, snake-dancing his way through wild, Lizard King blues, goofing on glam-rock grandstanding, and just letting his thoughts grow..." -- Grade: B+
Alternative Press (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Banhart ramps up the production values and eases the oddball imagery on WHAT WILL WE BE..."
Billboard (p.32) - "Throughout the set, Banhart's expressive vocals are the real pleasure point..."
Q (Magazine) (p.113) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Across the course of these 14 tracks, Banhart references Brian Wilson in his celestial pomp, The Byrds at their most folksy and Tim Buckley at his dreamiest..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.90) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Banhart can still turn in a beautiful melody: 'Angelika,' the later-reprised second tracks, sounds like a half-remembered lullaby."
Uncut (magazine) - 3 stars out of 5 -- [E]asily his most polished....The intermittent presence of discernible song structures, uniform tempos, crisp arrangements and dynamic contrasts is a plus..."
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Warner Bros. 520960
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