Devendra Banhart Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

No one personifies the idea of the modern stinkin’ hippy (in a good way) more than Devendra Banhart. He has a well-travelled look and, most likely, a low-key nature that goes with the flow. Throughout his short yet prolific career, Banhart has proved that over and over with his effortlessly rambling and eclectic compositions. From essentially being the man who coined the term "freak folk” to 2005’s Cripple Crow, where he was all over the map in terms of genre, Banhart seems to have a limitless well of creativity. Too bad he can’t turn off the tap; though Smokey is better than Cripple, it still suffers from being too much. "Cristobal” is a beautiful, languid opener, "Seahorse” is just absolutely incredible with its slow build, harmonies and ripping guitar climax, and "Saved” is mind-blowing gospel number. Yet "Shabop Shalom” has a weird ’60s doo-wop feel and "Lover” is a bit forced, with its soul and funk inflections. Really, Banhart is trying to be everything to everyone here and when it works, it’s lovely, but over an hour of it is too much. Cut it, ya hippy! (XL)