Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cripple Crow

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2005 at 12:00 AM

The comparisons are obvious on Devendra Banhart’s fourth, Cripple Crow. Sure, he’s a little like Van Morrison — everyone who sings with their mouths a little too closed during the quiet parts is. But Cripple Crow isn’t Astral Weeks, so the comparisons stop there.

Barely less obvious than the author of “Brown Eyed Girl” are comparisons to the third and best Velvet Underground record. The closet-quiet production squishes Cripple Crow’s songs into muted, compressed, junior copycats of the Velvet’s eponymous album. Nothing is as remarkable as “Candy Says” and there’s even less that’s as propelling as “What Goes On.” Comparing Banhart to Lou Reed is overestimating the songwriter’s command of the craft. When Banhart tries to stomp out an upbeat song, it sounds like Julian Casablancas would if half of the Strokes decided to just say “fuck it” — empty. Refrains like “Well, if I lived in China, I’d have some Chinese children,” don’t boom with profundity; shit, they don’t boom at all. Maybe “Chinese Children” is a weak track in a sea of mediocre ones, but this rambling, aimless pap can crawl back into the neo-hippie hole Devendra Banhart climbed out of.

L.M. Smith writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by L.M. Smith

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation