Freak folk poster boy Devendra Banhart has a new attitude since music biz mover Elliot Roberts became his manager, and that comes through loud and clear on this disc recorded in a studio custom-built to make the album in a Topanga Canyon house.
Rather than the thoughtful songcraft and inspired peformances of Banhart's pre-Roberts Young God recordings, what you hear now is the zoned-out noodling of someone who foolishly believes his own genius hype.
Banhart knows that XL wouldn't dare not release whatever he deigns to deliver, no matter how half-assed, nonsensical or just plain boring his tunes may be, and his woozy late-night babbling on Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon shows he's clearly correct. This makes his lame Cripple Crow album look like Pet Sounds.
Devendra Banhart appears at the Danforth Music Hall Friday (September 21).