Sunday, March 23, 2014

CD Review: Tinariwen's 'Emmaar'

Anti Records

North Africa's blues guitar kings are back with another highly-lauded release. Emmaar, which means "the heat on the breeze," is the next installment in Tinariwen's slew of successful albums that attempts to bring a more world rock sound, while still cementing their name in the addictive, swirling, and blues-infused music inherent from their humble beginnings. The reinforcement of the Westernization influences are evidenced by the cover art and liner note poster featuring Tinariwen at a ranch in southern California. This is partly due to the political instability back home in Mali. However, Tinariwen seems at home in any desert; no matter where it is located. There are eleven tracks on this album. There are a lot of repetitious guitar rhythms throughout, but it is broken up by various percussion and vocals. The guitars are organic, gritty, and fuzzy in parts, but the recording quality is still top-notch. Overall, Tinariwen produces yet another fine recording with relatively minor qualms. The lyrics are sung in Tamasheq. ~ Matthew Forss

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