The Richest Man in Babylon
It is most definitely an insipid comment to say that Thievery Corporation’s 2000 debut, The Mirror Conspiracy, was a seminal album. Hell, it not only launched producers Rob Garza and Eric Hilton into electronica’s stratosphere, but it firmly put lounge in the ears of every late-night club goer on the planet. That album’s unique blend of post-bop jazz, dub, Middle Eastern and Asian sounds was an explosion of creativity that left listeners devastated.
Well, if you loved Mirror, you’ll definitely dig Babylon. It’s damn near the same album. Still a good work with lots of great music (check out the title track, the beautiful mournful “Exilio (Exile),” the nice, driving beat of “Omid (Hope)” with Loulou’s cherubically-sweet vocals, and the pure funk of “Liberation Front”), this sophomore effort has the stale scent of stasis plaguing it.
It’s a really good album on its own and, if it had been released before Mirror, one would be just as excited with it as with its predecessor. However, since there is a precedent, this album feels more like the second part of a double album as opposed to its own work. These guys are simply too young to be in a rut. I love what they’re doing, but they could’ve done better.
ESL Music: http://www.eslmusic.com