Tune-Yards - Nikki Nack - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tune-Yards - Nikki Nack

by D R Pautsch Rating:6 Release Date:2014-05-05

It's that time of year when your mind starts wandering to your holidays. Whether you are planning it or about to go on it, your thoughts are there. Look around your current dwelling, though, and you are likely to see evidence of holidays past. It could be a photo, something you bought, or something you found. 

When musicians go on holiday it can be a bit different. They don't just bring back memorabilia; often they can bring back a new direction, musical influences or new friends. Merrill Garbus, who to all intents and purposes is Tune-Yards, has been to Haiti. That visit is in evidence throughout this third offering, which also boasts all the imagination and surprises you'll have heard on her previous efforts.

Using the usual mix of beats, loops and slightly eccentric arrangements, Nikki Nack follows on from her two previous albums, using these new influences to deliver a slightly Caribbean-infused indie mix.. 'Hey Life' is a heartfelt calling card which uses layered vocals, drums and hand-claps to deliver one of the highlights here. 

However, at times it gets a little too close to annoying to be really endearing. On tracks like 'Sink-O', the music feels like a slightly updated version of Tom Tom Club. While TTC were good this just wears a bit thin, especially with a baffling spoken-word number in the middle of proceedings.

Nikki Nack has moments which delight and others that frustrate. It's a great testament to Garbus' efforts to push her music forward. However, it somehow loses cohesion and the likability of previous efforts, and does not deliver as much as it promises.

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