Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man In Babylon | RECORD STORE DAY

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Latest effort by Thievery Corporation entitled the Richest Man in Babylon, finds the duo elevating their signature sound with more templative and thought-provoking songwriting. Due to the live nature of this record, it will be hard for many to call this an electronic album, which once again leaves everyone wondering where Thievery Corporation fits into the musical specturm. Definitly Thievery Corporation goes into a new direction with this album... but that's a good thing.


Much has changed since Eric Hilton and Rob Garza stepped out of the Districtof Columbia with their suits and ties to overtake the global downtempo marketas the Thievery Corporation. Once merely happy to cut and paste samples of reggae,Brazilian pop, hip-hop and lounge music over updated beats, the Thievery boyshave evolved over the years to suit the ever-developing tastes of their post-ravesocialite audiences. No doubt, these changes come as much through their unerringmarketing acumen-after all, the duo also run the posh Eurotrash wateringhole Eighteenth Street Lounge, as well as a successful indie label for the pastsix years-as it does through any artistic maturation. But thankfully, TheRichest Man in Babylon shows a much more graceful and less studied movetowards pop dynamics than their last album, The Mirror Conspiracy. Moreover,it shows anyone who's watching-like, for instance, a few major labels-thattwo artist/entrepeneurs can make a mark in music on their own terms.

To be sure, Garza and Hilton have come a very long way from early 12-inch successeslike "2001: A Spliff Odyssey" and "Shaolin Satellite." They'llstill steal a lick or two from a sound they know will sell, such as the Air-styledopener "Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes." But much of this albumsettles nicely into a distinctive groove that touches on all of Thievery'sobsessions over the years, from soul-searching reggae parables (the title track)to suave bass-oriented grooves ("All That We Perceive," which standsas an album highlight) and Eastern-flavored jam material ("Facing East").And it all ends on a heartbreaking and enigmatic note with the aching "Resolution,"one of the most moving things the duo has ever done. As uncertain and unsettlingas it sounds, it still indicates a group dedicated to maturing and taking itsaudience for an illuminating journey into the future.