Top positive review
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Not quite as memorable as "Animal Magic", but it'll do for a new sound
on March 31, 2010
It's been said that it's hard to rely on artists to release what is essentially the same album over and over again, yet still maintain a sense of evolving direction and also a fresh set of ideas. This is why it's rather refreshing to hear Bonobo's newest effort "Black Sands" mix up the well-known directly instrumental approach with something more subdued and fluid.
Thankfully, Bonobo's trademark downtempo sound is still here, as are his well-crafted jazzy, almost Brazilian-esque lounge-ified melodies. Songs such as "Animals" and "El Toro" reflect the more upbeat rhythms as were heard in songs like "Pick Up", off "Dial M for Monkey"; yet there is a strikingly distinct other side to the album right from the get-go in the form of the decidedly modern instrumental hip-hop affair that is "Kiara". It is advised, should any person familiar with Bonobo's previous works hearing this track for the first time, to try and reserve passing judgment on the album solely based off of this song alone. One could even go as far as to say that if someone were to hear this, it would be easy to mistake it for another artist altogether. On the other hand, the return of vocalist Andreya Triana is a pleasant addition to this record, as her sultry, butter-smooth tone finds itself to be a perfect companion to the soothing compositions herein.
On the (slight) downside, there aren't as many direct standout tracks on this CD that will hit the listener upon first listen, such was the case for this reviewer with "Terrapin" and "Dinosaurs" off the album "Animal Magic". "Black Sands" definitely demands a bit more attentiveness should the listener wish to find that certain something that will resonate infinitely within themselves, calling them back to that first, shining moment on a repeatedly consecutive basis. "Black Sands" certainly requires more direct attention upon the first go around, as there are a lot more subtleties that can be easily overlooked should the initial listen be a cursory one. Give it a second (or even third) spin however, and it's most certainly safe to say that one could have no problem placing this in the background for any occasion. After repeated listens, this reviewer can safely say that "Black Sands" deserves a top spot in any music fans' collection -- let alone at the top of any die hard Bonobo fan's list as well.
Verdict: Buy it!