Bonobo – Stay The Same review

Keeping the momentum going from his wildly successful Black Sands album, Si Green (Bonobo’s less simian alter-ego) drops “Stay The Same”, a favourite from the album and a devastating collaboration with singer Andreya Triana. As Black Sounds showed, Bonobo has been on a mission to flex a whole new range of styles and skills of late, and where before he would have packed in a cornucopia of diferent drum hits, here he nails it with a simple kick, snare and shaker combination which works a treat.

With raw acoustic guitars anchoring the song, Triana’s vocals practically melt into the mix, and get echoed and reversed at various points by Bonobo – ushering in the heavenly sax of The Portico Quartet’s Jack Wiley, who backs up brilliantly on the choruses. Along with an instrumental version is a fantastic live version, recorded with the full Bonobo band at Ronnie Scott’s. It provides a great alternative – even more pared-down and with a crisp rim-shot in place of the beats, it’s hugely compelling and recalls Erykah Badu or Jill Scott in their prime. The tightness and breathless intensity captured from that performance is truly miraculous. If “Stay The Same” floats your boat, it’s definitely worth checking out the album afterward – there’s plenty more quality where this came from.

Review: Oliver Keens