May 1, 2011

tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l

Sound-a-likes: Dirty Projectors, Micachu, Deerhoof

After giving w h o k i l l about ten thorough listens all the way through, I think I can confidently say that this is one of the freshest things I've heard in a while. The main instruments of this album are Merill Garbus' amplified ukelele, and her unmistakeably unique voice. Saxophones, primal drum beats, and a booming bass are also prominent. Oh yeah, and there's tons of looping, drum-wise and vocal-wise, which is an automatic plus in my book. Apparently she went to Africa before the recording of the album, and that seems to rub off on the music quite a bit.

Not only is this one of the freshest things I've heard, it's also quite strong, and in-your-face. Right out of the gate, the album opens with an unexpected beat, and Garbus' powerful vocal delivery. Not the most inviting way to start off the album, but it worked just fine for me. I only had to hear the first minute of the quirky next track Es-So, and I knew I would love this album. Gangsta only pulled me in further, with it's upfront beat and brilliant bass line. It's honestly something I can listen to for hours on end. Plus Garbus contorting her voice to sound like an ambulance makes the track amazing. The saxophones are a nice touch too.

The blissful eccentricity continues on tracks like the primal-sounding Bizness, where Garbus' vocals are especially enchanting, the light-hearted You Yes You, and Killa, the upbeat closing track with a bit of added sass and another classic bass line.

Now, a word of warning. Like I said, this stuff is very strong, and the kookiness only lets up on a few tracks, those being Powa, which is probably my favorite track here, Wooly Wolly Gong, and Riotriot. I can see this album being very off-putting to a lot of people. I can't promise you that you'll like it. You may even find it completely revolting, I don't know. You'll just have to see for yourself. But I can guarantee you that you won't forget it.

1. My Country
2. Es-So
3. Gangsta
4. Powa
5. Riotriot
6. Bizness
7. Doorstep
8. You Yes You
9. Wooly Wolly Gong
10. Killa


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