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Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon


Price: $14.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Audio CD, September 25, 2007
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Amazon's Devendra Banhart Store

Music

Image of album by Devendra Banhart

Photos

Image of Devendra Banhart

Biography

For his Nonesuch debut, Devendra Banhart chose the title Mala, literally the Serbian word for “small,” but used colloquially in Eastern Europe as a term of endearment—“like sweetie pie,” Banhart explains. It was a placeholder during most of the recording, a working title offhandedly inspired by a ring his fiancée, the Serbian photographer and artist Ana ... Read more in Amazon's Devendra Banhart Store

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for 16 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon + Mala + Cripple Crow
Price for all three: $39.21

Buy the selected items together
  • Mala $13.57
  • Cripple Crow $11.17



Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Xl Recordings
  • ASIN: B000UGG33M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,218 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cristobal
2. So Long Old Bean
3. Samba Vexillographica
4. Seahorse
5. Bad Girl
6. Seaside
7. Shabop Shalom
8. Tonada Yanomaminista
9. Rosa
10. Saved
11. Lover
12. Carmencita
13. Other Woman, The
14. Freely
15. I Remember
16. My Dearest Friend

Editorial Reviews

Review

...gorgeous, often bizarre daydreams from singular singer-songwriter --Rolling Stone

SMOKEY...introduces a more complex Banhart....'Freely' is as good a song as he's ever written, actually -- a musically mature relative of 'Heard Somebody Say' from CRIPPLE CROW.
4 stars out of 5 --Uncut

Product Description

Recorded in Topanga Canyon in the Santa Monica mountains. Neil Young lived there while recording "After The Gold Rush" and the area has also been home to Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Joni Mitchell, Mick Fleetwood, and members of The Doors. Those ghosts inhabit the sound and vibe of these recording sessions. Banhart's whole "freak folk" tag is gone, replaced with this classic, gorgeous rock album. Some songs are fragile and solipsistic, others have a pronounced tropicalia influence, and still others are wildly electric and epic.

More from Devendra Banhart


Cripple Crow


Rejoicing in the Hands


Niño Rojo

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
8
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
2
See all 23 customer reviews
Timeless American music.
Harper Sedgwick
The album has a much fuller sound than any of his previous efforts, due to the fact that he features a full band.
A. Woodley
It' really good from start to finish.
Charles Grimm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
First off I have to say this is a great album. If your into Devendra Banhart and liked Cripple Crow then do not hesitate now, buy this album. If you new to Devendra Banhart than this really is a pretty good place to start. The album has a much fuller sound than any of his previous efforts, due to the fact that he features a full band. It also very accessible to people who are not really into the whole Freak Folk scene. I really enjoy his voice on this album as compared to any of his other albums because on a few tracks he tries singing in a lower octive, which I enjoyed. Also, Rich Robinson, guitarist for the Black Crows, appears on a track. As the other reviewer said, the words are a little hard to read, but not that bad. The art scheme fits with his other albums and personally I like it. Bottom line, is that Devendra Banhart has made another great album, and great albums are a lost are in this radio world of singles.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Giving off the same earthy vibe as his terrific Cripple Crow, Devendra Banhart taps into the good vibrations of California's Topanga Canyon. The result is the friskiest and most musically solid album of his unashamedly eclectic career. Songs bounce between 60's psychedelic to the Jackson 5-ish Motown of "Lover" to 50's novelty of "Shabop Shalom" and it's humorous "wonder wonder who, who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls" quip, and it all works like a dreamy California morning. Even the Spanish language songs meld effortlessly into the whole of the CD.

Banhart is also getting more adventurous. While his album is richer musically than anything he has done before, he is hardly getting slick. "Smokey Rolls..." seems far more dependant on feel than fidelity (there are times when his vocal yelps distort annoyingly), and I would guess that the vocal pitch correction softwear was NOT brought in to smooth over the errors. All the better. With a standout six minutes of a song like "Sea Horse" making music sound communal again, "Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon" is a minor miracle; an album by an artist who is willing to throw commercial cautions to the wind and make a full length CD that holds together as a piece. Since most artists seem bound and determined to do nothing but create jingles, singles and ring-tones lately, Devendra Banhart must now be counted as a serious contender as a maker of progressive popular music.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marc Cabir Davis on September 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
First of all, I think that this one is Devendra's greatest album, even better than 'Cripple Crow'. Despite his vocal limitations (Jeff Buckley he is not, even though he does have that whisper every now and then), Devendra is remarkable at living within his musical genre, not stretching himself too far, and still make a cohesive record that is not boring or tedious.

I found this recording to be a little more difficult to get into upon first listen though. A lot of songs sounded rough-edged and harsher, and the production was less tight than "Cripple Crow". Still, it lends a certain folksy rusticness to the entire production that ultimately worked in its' favor. Listen to the opener "Christobal". How could you not be moved by it?

My favorite though, is the 9 minute long epic "Sea Horse". However, Devendra's increasing tendency to record Spanish language tracks sometimes don't work - here however, they do. What I especially liked is that even though this remains an 'alternative folk' album, the mood is very 'Mulholland Drive', with elements of 1950s swing showing up every now and then. Sometimes theres a string section very reminiscent of The Beatles. Its this sort of pop sensibility that I think makes Devendra very accessible, and even though you may not know much about the artists' previous work, this album is definitely essential.

Like Imogen Heap and Patti Smith, Devendra seems to be getting better with every release, and I would consider this to be the most 'essential' of all his albums (its at least ten times better than 'Nino Rojo') and this is at least twice as good as 'Cripple Crow'.

If you're not sure, download a track or two or listen to samples.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Seek on June 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This album is, in my opinion, much better than Cripple Crow. I'm terrible at writing reviews. Just know that I recommend it highly. The best tracks are "So Long Old Bean", "Samba Vexillographica", "Shabop Shalom", okay, you know what, it would take me too long to type out the rest. Every song is great though, there aren't any slumpy parts to this album if that makes sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Wise Owl on April 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Okay, so I admit it. I bought this album solely because I developed a miserable crush on Devendra based ONLY on his looks. But then I began to think perhaps maybe he had some talent to go along with his funky persona. So, I chose the latest album. Let me tell you, I am ever so glad I did. I am hooked. Much the way I became hooked on all my favorites such as Cat Stevens, Elliott Smith, Jethro Tull, Donovan, Leonard Cohen, PJ Harvey, and the list goes on...Devendra is another one that I will follow to see where his career takes him. I only hope he doesn't become too commercial or too cocky when his popularity grows and his fame takes him to places he might not otherwise find himself going to. This album will not disappoint. There is certainly enough on here to choose from depending on your mood or vibe. I love, I mean love, that he sings in spanish too. Very sexy and sultry. I have a clear vision of Devendra and his many talented friends all hanging out in Topanga Canyon making groovy music together....and doing other various things that shall not be mentioned here.. I only wish I was young enough to become a groupie. Mmm good.
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