Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Label: XL Recordings
Devendra Banhart's follow-up to Cripple Crow sounds nothing like it. Recorded in Topanga Canyon, it also sounds nothing like '70s California canyon rock (CSN&Y, Joni Mitchell, John Phillips, etc.). It does sound like the dude is trying to ditch the "freak folk" tag with some subtly psychedelic rock 'n' roll songs and Spanish-sung, tropicalia-tinged acoustic pop. While making this album, he somehow acquired Jim Morrison's sofa and got Val Kilmer to pay for his dinner at a Malibu restaurant, so maybe that's why he's inflecting a bit like the saucy Lizard King on epics like "Seahorse."