• Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Mar 12, 2013
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17

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  1. Jun 13, 2015
    6
    Whispered vocals open Mala and this stillness will last throughout the whole record. Devendra Banhart was known for making great psych folk songs and this album is a cheat sheet of who he is. It's just a soft journey into a surreal world coming from a Marc Chagall's piece of art. There are the usual elements of the songwriter: hypnotic mood, freak attitude and a tolerable songwriting.Whispered vocals open Mala and this stillness will last throughout the whole record. Devendra Banhart was known for making great psych folk songs and this album is a cheat sheet of who he is. It's just a soft journey into a surreal world coming from a Marc Chagall's piece of art. There are the usual elements of the songwriter: hypnotic mood, freak attitude and a tolerable songwriting.
    Banhart's style is very similar to Vincent Gallo's "When", a record released by Warp Records in 2001.
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  2. Apr 14, 2013
    8
    After two albums full of psychedelia, Devendra lifts the acid veil and returns to his roots without sounding dull or desperate for cash. There are innovations, nods to previous work but above all it still makes you want to swing. A guru turned husband showing you settling down isn't all that bad and has its trippy turns too. Let's just hope his future children don't take in too much of hisAfter two albums full of psychedelia, Devendra lifts the acid veil and returns to his roots without sounding dull or desperate for cash. There are innovations, nods to previous work but above all it still makes you want to swing. A guru turned husband showing you settling down isn't all that bad and has its trippy turns too. Let's just hope his future children don't take in too much of his time, this world needs Devendra. Expand
  3. Mar 20, 2013
    9
    Mala is what "In Rainbows" is to "OK Computer" glorifying Radiohead fans. In other words, it's a polarising, mature, humorous and bold album with its own emotional and sonic palette. What makes this album especially significant is Devandra's ability to give explicit nods to his 'defining' sound from previous albums while exploring new landscapes with tracks like Für Hildegard von Bingen, AMala is what "In Rainbows" is to "OK Computer" glorifying Radiohead fans. In other words, it's a polarising, mature, humorous and bold album with its own emotional and sonic palette. What makes this album especially significant is Devandra's ability to give explicit nods to his 'defining' sound from previous albums while exploring new landscapes with tracks like Für Hildegard von Bingen, A Gain, Taurobolium etc. Overall, a highly recommended listen. Expand
  4. Mar 15, 2013
    9
    This is a very enjoyable smooth and moody album that the always unique Devendra Banhart has made. He's been at it now for 10+ years, and who would've thought that this, arguably his best work, would take all of this time to evolve. I thought he'd already done his best work, but he's proved me wrong. Recommended!
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Jun 4, 2013
    100
    This is Banhart’s best work because it functions as a unit.
  2. Apr 16, 2013
    75
    Mala is his finest attempt at not killing momentum by diving down a rabbit hole. [No. 97, p.52]
  3. Apr 9, 2013
    70
    The widening of Banhart’s previously contained and signature sound continues to pay off here, the funky and inviting rubber basslines that are scattered throughout the album particularly memorable.