Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon is many things--perhaps too many things, but its successes outnumber its failures, and it essentially solves the problems inherent in confining a freeform singer to time signatures and arrangements and rhythms imposed by outsiders.
  2. Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon is another very fine achievement in the still young, but immensely satisfying and always intriguing, career of Devendra Banhart.
  3. It's not so much that the quality varies, but that a bloated, lethargic feel permeates the record.
  4. 80
    When it ends, the impression of Devendra Banhart that stays with you is of the artful songsmith, finding a confidence to express himself in something other than riddles.
  5. There's nothing minimal about the music, which is cleanly produced, smartly textured hippie shamble.
  6. For aficionados of his gnomic genius, and there are many, this new collection provides further reasons to invest time and money in his eclectic works.
  7. On his fifth album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, Banhart embraces his role as a poet and a jester in equal measure.
  8. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    At 72 minutes, his fifth release is too long and needlessly precious at times. [28 Sep 2007, p.106]
  9. Alternative Press
    80
    You may need subtitles to truly grasp the psychedelic splendor of Devendra Banhart's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. [Nov 2007, p.174]
  10. The consistently laudable performances and production of Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon make for something that appears effortless and remains engaging throughout its 70-plus-minute runtime.
  11. This is Devendra Banhart...eclectic and whimsical and poking genres with a stick to see if they'll bite. It's a little mad, a lot overstuffed, and probably a degree or two calculated.
  12. Smokey Rolls down Thunder Canyon may be his best so far.
  13. This trippy collection spans Brazilian Tropicalia, '60s psychedelia, classic rock, blissed-out pop, gospel, and a new genre that might be called Hebrew doo-wop--a ridiculous range of styles, but one that works under Banhart's expansive, expressive umbrella
  14. Magnet
    80
    The more he pushes these various personas, the less sense we expect him to make and the more rewarding he becomes. [Fall 2007, p.90]
  15. Smokey is lengthy, as are all of Banhart’s albums, but make it to the last track and the reward is reminiscent of Banhart’s infallible 2004 album, "Rejoicing in the Hands."
  16. 74
    Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon is like ten Van Dyke Parks song cycles ground into mush.
  17. Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon is a feel good record for what's left of this 'summer' and even though it's packed with second hand magic and joy, such charms probably won't wear past the depths of winter, unless you truly are a hippy at heart.
  18. 'My Dearest Friend' ("I am going to die of loneliness I know / I am going to die of loneliness for sure") is among the most tender tunes that Banhart has produced.
  19. With big choruses, pristine production values, sing-alongs, and much lovelorn balladry could it be that Devendra Banhart is about to cross over?
  20. it's great to hear Banhart playing outside of type, and the swagger and muscle occasionally at work suit him surprisingly well.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Apr 14, 2013
    7
    After "Cripple Crow", Devendra takes the inevitable turn into psychedelic rock and it certainly is a hard turn. For those who endure, however,After "Cripple Crow", Devendra takes the inevitable turn into psychedelic rock and it certainly is a hard turn. For those who endure, however, the satisfaction is the greatest. All in all, a fine album that bridges the change from "Rejoicing In The Hands" (which was kinda trippy already) to "What Will We Be". Full Review »
  2. Apr 2, 2011
    6
    Feels a bit directionless and seems to be an experiment. The songs don't really fit as a whole- Lover is a fabulous song, but is completelyFeels a bit directionless and seems to be an experiment. The songs don't really fit as a whole- Lover is a fabulous song, but is completely out of place. Individually, all the songs are great, especially the salient Shabop Shalom and the playful Tonada Yanomanista, but as a collective, it's a bit jolty and uncertain. Full Review »
  3. Gus
    Dec 12, 2007
    9
    Amazing.