A few years ago Tune-Yards was blowing up with the critics. Rave reviews, appearing on year-end best of lists, etc. They sat my list of things to check out but I never got around to picking up any of their music and missed them when they came through town. When their third album, Nikki Nack, came out I jumped in. I’ve been listening to it off and on for a couple of months and took forever to form any sort of opinion on it.
The good stuff – “Hey Life” and “Sink-O” are both great, the former with a soulful chorus and the latter with a smattering of drums and scat singing. “Wait For A Minute” sounds like Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” if remade by Soul II Soul and the dance elements of “Left Behind” really shine. Where things really fall apart is on the absolutely abysmal “Why Do We Dine On The Tots” which is in the running for worst song of the year. In the end, it’s an album not just of songs but a collection of moments that vacillate between great and awful. There is a feel in places of it being like a mid-80s United Colors of Benetton commercial. “Let’s mix up all these elements into an international stew!” Works in some places but fails in others.
Reminds me of…