The Richest Man in Babylon
label: esl music
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
Out” music, a subgenre of trip hop and techno, was once
a hotbed for new and ambitious artists. Tricky’s Maxinquaye
and Portishead’s Dummy were selling moderately
well in the mid 90’s, backed by even more critical praise.
But those glory days are now pretty much over, and the record
industry knows that these type of albums just don’t sell.
It’s pretty rare these days to stumble across a fresh down-tempo
album, but its even more remarkable to come across Richest
Man in Babylon. It contains a stunningly original and fresh
sound from the Washington D.C. duo, Thievery Corporation.
in their past couple of albums, they have produced some of the
best down tempo music to date, this album mixes Middle Eastern/Indian
influences and sounds with their signature style to make an irresistible
sound all to itself. The album would stand well as a new age record,
but they add their signature touch and make it something very
special. The album itself comes with a 40 page booklet of photos
of various people from third world countries; capturing the poverty
and tragedy those people face. While the album’s lyrics
don’t really capitalize on this issue, the lyrics that the
disc does contain talk of peace and unabashedly standing up for
what you believe in.
The album has an irresistible flow to it,
and there isn’t really much to compare it to, except perhaps
an old Enigma record. The disc takes you to another place—you
can almost imagine yourself on the tour through India. The songs
are exotic and at times very jazz-tinged, even adding horns and
clarinets. On “Liberation Front”, they even get stir
things up and get a little funky. It’s an album to be taken
as a whole, and as an experience, rather than dissecting every
song for what it is. As much as it could be used to listen to
intently on your headphones, it just as well can be used for background
music for a cocktail party. There just isn’t anything out
there even remotely similar to this, and I commend them for it.
liked The Richest Man in Babylon...
Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes
2. Facing East
5. Omid (Hope)
6. All That We Percieve
7. Simple Historie (A Simple Story)
8. Meu Destino
9. Exilo (Exile)
10. From Creation
11. Richest Man in Babylon
12. Liberation Front
13. State of the Union
14. Until the Morning