tUnE-yArDs
w h o k i l l


3.5
great

Review

by Beram C. Lansay USER (21 Reviews)
April 14th, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Your power inside, it rocks me like a lullaby. Baby I don't know why."

First sight of the name tUnE-yArDs evokes images of brace-laden teeth behind the grin of a 13 year old as she chats over AIM. This instant impression of immaturity can be very dissuading, yet tUnE-yArDs' music is fused with inescapable personality. A quirky mix of pop, funk, and vocal looping gives the listener a brief glimpse into the world of tUnE-yArDs and the unique mindset that “W H O K I L L” is comprised of.

What drives the initial infectious charm of ”W H O K I L L” is Merrill Garbus' singing/scatting paired with vocal loops and her undeniably bizarre lyrics. This is all nicely complimented by the tasteful funk rhythms and heavy tribal drum beats found throughout. Most of the tracks swell with this energy and passion; the single, “Bizness”, being the most obvious and clear example of this unrestrained method. The drum-stick clacks and poignant bass lines of ”Bizness” are nothing short of dance-inducing. Shifting stylistically on the track ”Killa”, the instrumentals resemble that of Vampire Weekend while the nursery rhyme vocal delivery keeps it refreshing and different. The album also reaches anthemic proportions with ”Powa”, showing just how well the band can craft a catchy pop-ballad while still firmly maintaining their roots.

Yet, as much as ”W H O K I L L” screams artistic genius, ultimately its heart is just out of reach. Merill Garbus demands your respect through her bold creativity; and you'd be damned to not give it to her. The issue is that ability and potential alone don't justify an album's merit. Unfortunately ”W H O K I L L” lacks the cohesiveness that separates great albums from superb ones. Even though we have an epic demonstration of vocal experimentation paired with lively musicianship, certain parts of the album are just too alien to connect with. ”My Country”, “Riotriot”, and “Wolly Wolly Gong” are prime examples of the impenetrable bouts of madness that plague the record. The sonic world constructed before us is enticing but we are only permitted to peer in. The daft insanity that makes this album so refreshing is the same factor that holds it back; "W H O K I L L" is regrettably inaccessible at times.

Despite all of this, tUnE-yArDs still manage to preserve a consistent flow on the album; their abstract personality acting as the alluring cohesive. The majority of the tracks are such potent pop concoctions they are simply too contagious to resist. Fortunately the low points are easily overshadowed by the massive peaks this album reaches. "W H O K I L L" is certainly a dynamic advance in the pop genre and undoubtedly deserves your attention.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
lancebramsay
April 14th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Check the scat madness here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ1LI-NTa2s

Recommended tracks:

Bizness
Powa
Killa
Doorstep

lancebramsay
April 14th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also, 10th review - Do I get a medal or a cookie or something?

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


28785 Comments


you use the word "first" in the first two sentences. take care of that it sounds awk/redun

here's a pos

cirq
April 14th 2011


9265 Comments


o v e r r a t e d

lancebramsay
April 14th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you use the word "first" in the first two sentences. take care of that it sounds
awk/redun
deal

lancebramsay
April 14th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

o v e r r a t e d

Probably. Really digging the rec tracks though. I 3.5'd it out of artistic respect

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 14th 2011


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not bad, just try to eliminate redundant words and unnecessary description. I went through it for you:



First sight of the name tUnE-yArDs evokes images of brace-laden teeth behind the grin of a 13 year old as she chats over AIM. This instant impression of immaturity can be very dissuading, yet tUnE-yArDs' music is fused with personality. A quirky mix of pop, funk, and vocal looping (snip) gives the listener a brief glimpse into the world of tUnE-yArDs and the unique mindset that “W H O K I L L” is comprised of.

(snip) What drives the initial infectious charm of ”W H O K I L L” is Merrill Garbus' singing/scatting paired with vocal loops and undeniably bizarre lyrics. (snip). This is all nicely complimented by the tasteful funk rhythms and heavy tribal drum beats found throughout. Most of the tracks swell with this energy and passionsnip; the single, “Bizness”, being the most obvious and clear example of this unrestrained method snip. The drum-stick clacks and poignant bass lines snip are nothing short of dance-inducing. Shifting stylistically on the track ”Killa”, the instrumentals resemble that of Vampire Weekend while the nursery rhyme vocal delivery keeps it refreshing and different. The album also reaches anthemic proportions with ”Powa”, showing just how well the band can craft a catchy pop-ballad while still firmly maintaining their roots.

Yet, as much as ”W H O K I L L” screams artistic genius, ultimately its heart is just out of reach. Merill Garbus demands your respect through her bold creativity; and you'd be damned to not give it to her. The issue is that ability and potential alone don't justify an album's merit. Unfortunately ”W H O K I L L” lacks the cohesiveness that separates great albums from superb ones. Even though we have an epic demonstration of vocal experimentation paired with lively musicianship, certain parts of the album are just simply too foreign to connect with. ”My Country”, “Riotriot”, and “Wolly Wolly Gong” serve as prime examples for these impervious (not the right word?) fits of madness. The sonic world constructed before us is enticing but we are only permitted to peer in. The daft insanity that makes this album so refreshing is the same factor that holds it back; tuneyards is unfortunately insaccessible as a whole (snip the rest).

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


7318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ God-damn. Can you do one for me too mate?

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

Gyromania
April 14th 2011


15967 Comments


And me as well?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


7318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shut up Gyro.

=p

Gyromania
April 14th 2011


15967 Comments


That is literally the rudest thing you have ever said to me! Lol ;D

conradtao
Emeritus
April 14th 2011


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. I disagree on your main criticism, which is that it's difficult to connect with some of the thorny stuff here.. it is on first listen, but having listened to the record about fifteen times over, it really creeps up on you.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 14th 2011


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah no problem whenever i have time. work is slow this week.

iFghtffyrdmns
April 14th 2011


7047 Comments


Nice review....would definitely make the fixes that kingsoby suggested, they make it read a little less awkwardly. Congrats on 10 :]

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


7318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah no problem whenever i have time. work is slow this week.

Excellent ;)

And shut up, Gyro =p

lancebramsay
April 14th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Sobhi holycrapthanks

impervious (not the right word?)
impervious means impenetrable, or at least
that was what I thought it meant.

Good review. I disagree on your main criticism, which is that it's difficult to connect
with some of the thorny stuff here.. it is on first listen, but having listened to the record about
fifteen times over, it really creeps up on you.
I'm damn near 10 spins and I still stand
by my opinion. It seems you understand the album's inaccessibility but were able to get
passed it. Haven't been able to do that yet, probably never will.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 14th 2011


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

impervious jsut sounds awkward there

lancebramsay
April 14th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You're impervious, you ice king you

jeremologyy
April 14th 2011


270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well-written but i disagree; i think this is incredibly accessible.

lancebramsay
April 14th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not sure if my point is clear from the review but I'm not saying this is bad or completely
inaccessible. I'm saying that certain parts of this are too insane for my liking. Tracks bizness and
powa are absolutely amazing and a very easy listen. Unfortunately tracks like riotriot are the exact
opposite for me.



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