Ryan Dombal
September 09, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Supplementing his prior folky ways with a rash of surprising styles, free-spirited longhair Devendra Banhart exquisitely broadens his sound on Cripple Crow. Along with its skewed Sgt. Pepper‘s-esque artwork, the album acknowledges the Fab Four’s towering ambition with a lilting jaunt — called ”The Beatles,” natch — and the Lennonesque antiwar ballad ”Heard Somebody Say.” Elsewhere, the singer tackles tropicalia and ’60s soul with aplomb, his boundless talents in full flight.

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