This review was originally published on digboston.com.
GENRE | HOW AM I EVEN SUPPOSED TO WRITE ABOUT THIS!?
VERDICT | AN ALBUM OF THE YEAR
LABEL | NINJA TUNE
RELEASE | 4.1.13
Simon Green (a.k.a. Bonobo)’s new album is like waking up really dehydrated, and someone put ice-cold water by the bed. It’s a gift from someone you love of music so refreshing after too long, three years since his last, Black Sands.
There’s not one track that I don’t love. I wasn’t sure if it was Cornelia and Erykah Badu’s enchanting vocals or the magical production of instrumental tracks like “Sapphire” and “Jets”— fitting drops of rain, bells, woodwinds, violins, and piano notes into each organic chapter of the story — that kept bringing tears to my eyes.
I do know that just like Black Sands, it has touched my subconscious and become the soundtrack of my dreams.
One needs only to hear the first track to realize the depth and emotion. He dives right into “First Fires,” the musical equivalent of a note to your love that says, “I never thought this would be possible, but you’ve reignited my ability to love deeply again, like with my first love. And I want to hold this feeling, and you, close to me forever.”
Then there’s the new up-tempo flavor of “Cirrus” and “Know You,” made for the dance floor, but never abandoning that primal soul. Maybe Machinedrum’s rework of “Eyes Down” was also one of Green’s favorites.
But the bottom line with Bonobo’s music is that it doesn’t hit you from the outside and then you realize it’s good. There’s absolutely nothing shallow about it. His music pulls something from within you that’s already there. It’s natural, your natural rhythm. He’s very in tune with that, and that’s why everyone I play his music for, no matter what they like, understands it and truly loves it.
That’s why the music doesn’t end with the album; it inspires everyone that hears it to create.
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