Personnel: Rob Myers (guitar); Victoria Parker (violin); Flora Peterson (viola); Chet Peterson, Phillip Peterson (cello); Joe Herrera, Matt Rippetoe (horns); Will Rast, Darryl Burke, Gianmaria Conti, Rob Garza (keyboards); Jeff Franca (drums); Javier Miranda, Swamp Guinee (percussion); Tamara Wellons (background vocals).
Arranger: Phillip Peterson.
Thievery Corporation's eighth studio album finds the duo digging ever deeper into their niche, which makes sense considering that they have 22 years' worth of experience behind them and a solid fan base -- a radical reinvention would have been counterproductive. Instead, they've delivered the exact record that fans have come to expect. Despite a number of subtle changes over the years, everything from the production methods to the synths and strings sounds the same as it did on their first few albums.
If anything, the defining factor on The Temple of I & I is that it's their loosest to date. Gone are the more overtly electronic influences (Mirror Conspiracy, Richest Man in Babylon), the attempted comments on society (Radio Retaliation, Culture of Fear), and even their brief forays into psychedelia and sedate bossa nova (Cosmic Game and Saudade, respectively), replaced by dub/reggae jams. Longtime fans won't find any major surprises here, but Temple of I & I stands as the latest Thievery record that works wonders if all you want is to sit back, relax, and unwind. ~ Liam Martin