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CD Review: tUnE-yArDs

w h o k i l l (4AD)


Artsy-fartsy Merrill Garbus makes a lot of noise with very few tools. On her second album, the one-woman band from Oakland builds sonic mosaics out of drums, horns, synths, and her big, powerful voice, often manipulated to abrasive extremes. Garbus rarely plays by any conventional sense of rhythm or style. tUnE-yArDs are an art project that slides in and out of grooves while maintaining visions of indie rock as the ultimate big-kid playground. Good luck trying to make anything out of Garbus' garbled words, which seem randomly strung together most of the time. And good luck trying to pull free from whokill's sway. The best songs here — the global "Gangsta," the panoramic "Bizness" — sound nothing like what you're listening to. It's world music on an indie-rock level. — Michael Gallucci

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