Monday, May 2, 2011


It's unfortunate that the internet, while a gateway to diversities in all forms of art, has managed to cultivate a crowd that will look at Merrill Garbus, the woman behind tUnE-yArDs, mistake her eccentricity for convoluted madness, and make her work out to be unworthy of recognition because of its queer sensibilities. While it's true that Garbus' latest work, w h o k i l l, is by no means an easily accessible piece, it is arguably one of this year's finest examples of combining a thoroughly entertaining pop sound with an eclectic spin.

Songs like "My Country," and "Gangsta," are not begging to be deciphered like some cryptic, higher-order thinking puzzle, but only for the listener to enjoy the erratic drum beats and spastic vocal delivery. When Garbus' voice ranges from her highest pitch to her darkest mutters of "the thing about living a lie is just wondering when they'll find out," listeners will get a sense that no matter how chaotic the album's beats get or impulsive the musicianship feels, this record is not disconnected in its execution. w h o k i l l's personality does not appear at arm's length from Garbus', but rather right in the palm of her hand, superbly personal and wildly creative in her descent into a flurry of rhythmic styles. From blazing saxophones to blaring drum loops, the multiple layers of Garbus' compositions do not suffer from their esoteric qualities as much as they excel in their inventive arrangements. If you're enraptured with the idea of a catchy lo-fi pop album that's appealing in a way that I've personally found almost impossible to elucidate, you can find out for yourself and stream tUnE-yArDs' latest album at The Guardian.

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