Bonobo
Fragments


3.5
great

Review

by MiloRuggles STAFF
February 22nd, 2022 | 33 replies


Release Date: 01/14/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bonobos on typewriters

The path of the easy-listening genre stalwart is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the listener and the tyranny of lo-fi hip-hop playlists on YouTube. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and goodwill, shepherds the plebs through the valley of trash taste, for he is truly his genre's keeper, and the finder of lost cafes. And he will strike down with gentle downtempo and deep house those who attempt to poison and destroy background music. And you will know my name is Bonobo when I lay my slick beats upon thee!

A-fucking-men, fam. Thinking of Bonobo's dip in critical success across his last couple of LPs, I wonder how seriously he must take this news in relation to his faithful congregation of monthly listeners numbering in the millions and the sheer professionalism in sound selection, arrangements, and progressions that has continued to bolster even his less successful releases. The proliferation of algorithm-driven hackneyed bullshit on YouTube that seems to garner most of the attention of people for whom the word “chill” is seemingly always ready to ejaculate forth from must be strange to witness from where Bonobo sits.

Perhaps the separation of those listeners—who I guess are busy plagiarising their latest thesis or tripping hard and trying not to panic (probably both)—from Bonobo's fanbase speaks to the delicate attention that his music invites. Like the rest of his work, lazy loops and misplaced samples are nowhere to be found on Fragments. It's a case of every sound in its right place, every idea developed in a way that is thoughtful and skilfully executed at best and pretty at worst, every track clearing that rather translucent bar that separates “that was boring” from “that was nice”.

So it was, so it will ever be. Or so it seems. Bonobo's consistency appears to be a blessing and a curse; fans will never be disappointed, critics will never be impressed. This lands a release like Fragments—which I'm sure people would rave about were it excavated from some obscure deep house scene in Nowhereheim, Germany or whatever—in a zone where it'll probably never get the credit it deserves as soft ratings and accusations of unoriginality push prospective listeners towards newer trends, leaving Bonobo gently raving in no man's land with an already established fanbase, unconcerned about the shitfight taking place in the trenches in the name of dramatic upheavals and crowning glories. Fuck that noise. Come dance.



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user ratings (95)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


2122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Whoops, another review for an early Jan release! sorry team. tried to keep her short

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


28549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It had to be you ;*



Lovely album from the man. As always, the tracks with featured singers are the best.

Digging: Taj Mahal Travellers - July 15, 1972

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


2122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

kiiiiiiissseeesss

the tracks with featured singers are the best [2]

also like that track near the end that aaaaaaaallllllllmost veers into some breaks

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


2122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers norma!

okok I absolutely feel that. My idea wasn't as nuanced as yours haha so very salient point. I just meant that if this was detached from Bonobo's name and dredged up and shared people would be a lot more excited about it despite the lack of underground depth



Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 22nd 2022


70163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can’t really get down with the insinuation that bonobo is not for plebs



Bonobo has been selling out to basic white bitches for like a solid decade now

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


2122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lolol I get that, but I was picturing him as a solid alternative to typing "chill" into youtube at the time while trying to rework the bible to the best of my ability

keaton_86
February 22nd 2022


728 Comments


This sounds like Bonobo made an AI program to make a bonobo album

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


2122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bonobos on typewriters

keaton_86
February 22nd 2022


728 Comments


Bonobos on typewriters


hahahah. That's actually quite clever.

Trifolium
February 22nd 2022


32785 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hihihh yes!

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


2122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

8===D



oh god trif no you have very good taste in electronic, you weren't supposed to see this! i'm sorry!

parksungjoon
February 22nd 2022


45122 Comments


> Bonobo has been selling out to basic white bitches for like a solid decade now

this.

its also like, whatever, could be worse still

Digging: Photek - Natural Born Killa

Demon of the Fall
February 22nd 2022


25372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed this one. It definitely tailed off after a rather promising beginning, but still.

Scared to return in case it ends up giving me increasingly diminishing returns. Hmm, on 2nd thought...

Damn?

Digging: Imperial Triumphant - Spirit of Ecstasy

Pajolero
February 22nd 2022


1262 Comments


A very enjoyable record from good ol' dependable Bonobo, but at times it feels like he could make this kind of stuff in his sleep at this point. Been a while since I got truly excited by his stuff (since Black Sands probably).

anat
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


4900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my main thought regarding this is how the artwork is veering dangerously towards tycho territory

bloc
February 22nd 2022


68814 Comments


Boring as hell

Digging: Cheem - Guilty Pleasure

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


11437 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I spent a nifty moment with this record



smooth read hermano

Project
February 22nd 2022


5508 Comments


This is gonna be my default 'focus-at-work' music isn't it.

Great textures and grooves on here, though I'd love if he also released a instrumental-only version

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2022


17424 Comments


Is this elevator music or heavy elevator music?

Trundle
February 22nd 2022


3790 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's diet bonobo for sure



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