The North Borders

The North Borders

On his fifth studio album, Bonobo builds upon the cut-and-paste downtempo of Black Sands and avails himself of even richer raw materials. The lush, loosely funky “Cirrus” adds plucked thumb piano to its rippling bass-and-drums groove; the UK garage of “Emkay” is tufted with soft explosions of guitar, saxophone, and sampled vocals. He shows further growth on more song-like tracks like “Heaven for the Sinner” and “First Fires,” as Erykah Badu and Grey Reverend turn his abstract beat sketches into searching, soulful, left-field pop.

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