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Black Sands

4.8 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2010 release. Simon Green (AKA Bonobo) returns with his fourth and finest album, Black Sands. Losing none of his epic emotionalism, his control of texture and color and his subtlety, Black Sands sees Green making some of his most contemporary-sounding music to date.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ninja Tune
  • ASIN: B0035UHJCE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,658 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Aaron A. Rose on March 31, 2010
Format: Audio CD
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.
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By B. on August 9, 2010
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Having never heard a single Bonobo song, I bought this album on a whim and was blown away. Headphones are a must to hear all the intricate subtleties. There is no filler in this album. From start to finish, each song is masterfully woven together. As for the style, I believe the album cover serves as a perfect metaphor. If you like the samples of the songs, even slightly, buy the album. You won't be disappointed. As for me, I'm Bonobo's newest fan.
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Format: Audio CD
Black Sands is by far Simon's most cohesive album to date. There isn't a single track I feel like skipping, which is a huge difference between this and his previous album, Days to Come. While the latter album was impressive as hell (especially with a second CD of instrumentals and demos) I simply didn't enjoy the vocal collaborations.

I certainly don't feel the same way about the collaborative tracks on this album. Featuring Andreya Triana, they are not only better than previous Bonobo vocal cuts, they are the strongest tracks on the entire album. And if Simon made another CD with all-vocal tracks featuring Andreya Triana I would be there to buy it on its release date.*

If you're worried that Black Sands won't sound like other Bonobo albums, then you can rest assured that it most certainly won't. Bonobo is evolving, and every new album sounds vastly different as he adds more layers of instruments, more mood swings, and more intricacy to his sound. Those of us who love his older albums have to let him evolve and assume that he'll blow us away with something completely different, yet distinctly Bonobo-esque, with each new album.

In short, Black Sands definitely does not disappoint, and can be enjoyed by fans of his previous albums, fans of Andreya Triana's other works, or fans of lush, moody jazz tracks with awesome beats.

* After I wrote this review, I discovered that Andreya's upcoming album (Lost Where I Belong, I think) is produced by Simon Green AKA Bonobo. So looks like I'll get my wish, and I'll get it this year!
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Format: Audio CD
From the Chinese strings that kick off "Prelude," you know you're in for something special with Bonobo's BLACK SANDS. Even as that track segues into the electro thump of "Kiara," it never loses its sense of surprise and wonder. "Kong" slides into a sweet spot between jazz, hip-hop and electronic music, dense with instrumentation and ideas. But the real magic starts when Andreya Triana appears with the slow-burning "Eyesdown." Her trio of songs, including the heart-breaking "The Keeper" and the melancholy "Stay the Same," gives the album a breath-taking soul. That's to say that the instrumentals pale; far from it. The Spanish flair of "El Toro" or the fuzz-guitar groove and altered vocals of "All In Forms." The clarinet of "Animals" shows his adaptability with many instruments, in a Cinematic Orchestra-like jam, as the title track brings things down to a simple, string-driven waltz. Simply amazing.
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Format: Audio CD
Bonobo creates a groovy and lush soundscape as a foundation for this album. For someone who owns a meticulous ear, use a set of quality headphones to transport you to Bonobo's musical dimension full of texture and instrumental layers. For someone who has not yet listened to Greene's previous work, you may have a small advantage. Rather than generating juxtaposition, you may welcome this album with open arms.

Personal gems include:
Kiara, 1009, All in Forms

Favorite on Album:
All in Forms: Just love the grooviness!

I could definitely do without the last track, Black Sands.
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