By Remi Watts
On Feb. 11, tUnE-yArDs- epithet of the endlessly enigmatic and unconventionally gorgeous Merrill Garbus- dropped the single “Bizness” to the enthusiasm of ears far and wide. The eclectic and energetic song, available free on the tUnE-yArDs website, has built up exceptional anticipation regarding the upcoming album w h o k i l l, which is set for release on April 18.
For the most part, w h o k i l l meets all expectation. However, the worry exists that the unique stylization and dangerously dynamic nature so characteristic of tUnE-yArDs, which made “Bizness” so pleasing, could potentially cause the album to be difficult to fully appreciate. After all, tUnE-yArDs is frequently considered “experimental” and “lo-fi,” which are often just surface terms for “unapproachable” and “not meant for mainstream.”
That said, w h o k i l l is a great album encompassing an enormously wide musical range. It manages to swing from slower rhythmic tunes such as “Wolly Wolly Gong” and “Powa,” through funk-laden songs like “You Yes You” and “Gangsta,” to the nearly indescribable and incredible tracks “Es-So” and “Bizness.” Ultimately, in spite of the broad musical swath cut by Garbus, w h o k i l l manages to retain its identity as a whole- and resonates in all its eclectic glory.