Devendra Banhart - Mala
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2013 Ratings: #562 / 958
User Score
Based on 81 ratings
2013 Ratings: #162
March 12, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Nonesuch / Label
Folk / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
Under The Radar

He's a singularly idiosyncratic and brilliant songwriter, one hitting an arresting stride on this uniformly superb album. 

80
Consequence of Sound

His outlook is fresh and remains interesting. Mala may not stand as the zenith of the man’s catalogue, but it’s a highlight worth exploring and a dreamy journey for the taking.

76
Pitchfork

It's best to think of Mala as a new beginning for Banhart than a triumphant return to form

75
A.V. Club

There’s plenty of laid-back cool in Mala’s grooves, and even a bit of ’70s Eurodisco flash at one point. It’s a freaky situation all around.

73
Beats Per Minute

On Mala he certainly could have done himself some favours by trimming away some lesser moments but there’s certainly a sense that’s he gradually becoming more efficient with his song writing

72
Paste

Like most Banhart albums, Mala is often easier to admire fondly than truly love, particularly when the maestro leans closest to his freak-folk roots 

70
musicOMH

It’s a satisfying, mystifying, well-imagined album that bears repeated listens in the grass under slowly passing clouds. 

70
The 405

Devendra Banhart's eighth effort finds himself tapping into a particular sound particularly well, and coming out smelling of roses for it.

70
Spin

A more gratifying listen than the oft-grating Banhart had any right to deliver to non-believers in 2013. 

70
No Ripcord

Mala proves to be much more easily accessible than some of his previous efforts whilst still keeping its charm, an album in the more conventional sense without the dense weirdness and cryptic lyrics that could often be found in his earlier work.

60
Drowned in Sound

Almost everything here is pretty good when you sit down and concentrate on it, but there little that jumps up and demands your attention.

60
NME

 


The record has an intensely intimate, navel-gazing feel, and meanders its way dreamily through Spanish folk, pastichey pop and techno.


 

50
PopMatters

With equal amounts killer and filler doled out, Mala is a cake that comes across as half-baked, which is sorrowful knowing that Banhart really wanted to have that cake and eat it, too. 

CheapandLethal
70
Worth a listen
soundsnaive
75
really enjoyable, but nothing crazy. The best part about this album is Devendra's humour.
tha138
72
He surely knows the art of fascination.
Not so weird anymore but i still like his melodies.
HazeyJane
63
It just feels kinda raw.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#35/Q Magazine

Track List

  1. Golden Girls
  2. Daniel
  3. Für Hildegard von Bingen
  4. Never Seen Such Good Things
  5. Mi Negrita
  6. Your Fine Petting Duck
  7. The Ballad of Keenan Milton
  8. A Gain
  9. Won't You Come Over
  10. Cristobal Risquez
  11. Hatchet Wound
  12. Mala
  13. Won't You Come Home
  14. Taurobolium
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Added on: January 8, 2013