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Old 04-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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misspoptart's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default Bonobo - The North Borders (2013)

Bonobo - The North Borders
Release year: 2013

1. Bonobo & Grey Reverend - First Fires (4:38)
2. Bonobo - Emkay (5:26)
3. Bonobo - Cirrus (5:49)
4. Bonobo & Erykah Badu - Heaven For The Sinner (4:10)
5. Bonobo - Sapphire (4:48)
6. Bonobo - Jets (4:35)
7. Bonobo & Szjerdene - Towers (3:37)
8. Bonobo - Don't Wait (5:18)
9. Bonobo - Know You (4:05)
10. Bonobo - Antenna (3:32)
11. Bonobo - Ten Tigers (4:04)
12. Bonobo & Szjerdene - Transits (4:21)
13. Bonobo & Cornelia - Pieces (4:28)

I have been a Bonobo fan for about three years, but I'm no expert. If anything I say is erroneous or totally off, just correct me.

I'm happy to say that this album incorporates all the elements I've always liked about Bonobo. There are very positive vocal mixes, relaxing and uplifting downtempo beats, and magical, Alice-in-Wonderland-like themes. If you had played any of these tracks for me out of context, I would have been able to say "BONOBO!" without a doubt. Whether or not that is a good thing is up to the listener. I think, in this case, it's good!

It has a certain Asian flair at times, especially apparent in Emkay and Sapphire, and a bit at the end of Jets. The man is talented, and it shows.

Know You, Antenna, and Ten Tigers are the more jammable tracks on the album, but the only one I really chair danced to was Ten Tigers. That may have something to do with my obsessive love for violins.

The vocal tracks on the album are hit or miss. I didn't really like First Fires, but I did like Towers. Something about First Fires is too reminiscent of earlier Bonobo stuff, and I don't find it as pleasing on the ears. I believe the vocalist has worked with Bonobo before. Erykah Badu is always refreshing, and her song, Heaven for the Sinner, is eerie and compelling. The harp just melts me!
The final two tracks are both a bit forgettable for this girl, also, mostly because they don't have clear melodies for me to follow, which is something I desperately need with music. Regardless, Pieces is beautiful and haunting, and I will download it because it inspires me to write.

Unfortunately, most of the tracks on this album will still fall under the category of breakfast background music for me, unlike Bonobo's Noctuary, and Pick Up, or The Plug. But breakfast background music is never a bad thing at my house, because breakfast is a party. And it usually has pancakes. I just wish there was a track on here I could jam out to on my ferry ride home. These are too calm and not epic enough for that. Still, I like. A completely nice and cohesive listen, from start to finish.

Overall rating: 7/10
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I totally agree with you. Not a weak track on this album, and the vocal features (especially Erykah Badu) are impeccably placed.

This is possibly the best electronic album I've heard so far this year.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree, mostly. To me, it sounds like an average Bonobo album, nothing really terrible or amazing about it, no his and lows, just kind of a middle ground the entire listen. Still good, but like you said, more akin to background music.
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