Mala - Devendra Banhart
Mala Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: The eighth full-length release from the singer-songwriter is his first on Nonesuch and was co-produced with collaborator/guitarist Noah Georgeson.
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. If Mala wasn't conceived as Devendra Banhart's Europhile album, it's doing a damn fine impression of one.
  3. Mar 13, 2013
    80
    He's a singularly idiosyncratic and brilliant songwriter, one hitting an arresting stride on this uniformly superb album.
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    70
    Mala attests to a discipline that was absent in Banhart's recent, loopier ventures, proving that his eccentric songwriting works best when harnessed in service of good storytelling.
  5. 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.
  6. Mar 11, 2013
    70
    For all its detours, this is a record intoxicated by its own grooves--silken, sexy, a little aimless, and a lot of fun.
  7. 40
    It shifts desultorily from style to style, with songs barely hanging around long enough to state their case.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. 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, A Gain, Taurobolium etc. Overall, a highly recommended listen. Collapse
  2. 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! Expand
  3. 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 his time, this world needs Devendra. Expand