By Leah Greenblatt
Updated October 01, 2007 04:00 AM
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Devendra Banhart’s photogenic turn as the hirsute, guylinered face of the freak-folk movement (see also: Bat for Lashes, Joanna Newsom) has nearly subsumed his spotty musical output. Until now. On Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, the Texas-born, Venezuela-raised artist abandons some of his hairy-faerie affectations for a sprawling collection of psych-rock gems, sweet Spanish ditties, and ambitious sonic experiments. At 72 minutes, his fifth release is too long and needlessly precious at times. Still, it’s gratifying to know he’s capable of more than just looking really cool in an embroidered headband. B+
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