Tune-Yards' new album Nikki Nack consistently blurs the line between silliness and seriousness. These serious nursery rhymes address weighty issues. And even though Merrill Garbus's music sounds simple, even a cursory listen immediately reveals new patterns en route to a world that's distinctly her own.
As the album title suggests, Slug and Ant are using this new Atmosphere record to rep the south side of Minneapolis, where they have lived and worked for the majority of their career. You can practically picture Slug wandering down Lake Street deep in thought as he raps about his place in this broken world.
Damon Albarn's first solo release may be slightly bewildering on first listen, but it eventually beguiles. Huge hooks that seem initially buried in the grayish torpor lift themselves out and stay aloft and with you wherever you go.
wry sense of humor runs through all 12 tracks on Barnett's recently reissued album, which is actually a compilation of her first two EPs slapped together to satiate her growing fanbase. Witty and evocative, Barnett sings over lo-fi, psych-influenced washes of guitar. But there is also something deceptively poppy about her music.
A rock album for deep thinkers who also like soul, the highly anticipated 'Do To The Beast' may end up being the record that finally puts The Afghan Whigs on the front covers of the glossy music magazines.