he weather outside is finally not frightful, and we are all eagerly anticipating Spring weather, not to mention the beginning of music festival season, which will be under way very soon. But until those beautiful Pitchfork and Lolla days are upon us, we’ll have to be contented with the usual batch of new releases, presented here for your edification and enjoyment.
Bombino / Nomad
THEY SAY: Newest album from Nigerian guitarist Omara “Bombino” Mocatar, produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.
WE SAY: Bombino is one of the stars of the “desert blues” scene, along with other Nigerian acts like Tinariwen and Terakaft. For those unfamiliar with the genre, it’s traditional North African music played on rock instruments, with heavy blues guitar influences. Rhythmically and melodically, the music is decidedly non-Western, but for any fan of prodigious guitar artistry, Bombino is a must.
Mudhoney / Vanishing Point
THEY SAY: Ninth album from one of Seatlle’s premiere grunge bands.
WE SAY: It’s been 25 years since Mudhoney’s debut single, “Touch Me I’m Sick,” kicked off the Seattle grunge scene and put Sub Pop records on the map, at least in the underground scene. Sadly, those 25 years have not been kind to grunge, and so even those of us who were ardent Mudhoney fans back in the day kind of wish they had found their vanishing point decades ago.
Rilo Kiley / RKives
(Little Record Co.)
THEY SAY: Collection of b-sides, rarities, and unreleased songs by Jenny Lewis and company.
WE SAY: For hardcore Rilophiles this will be a must-have, but for those with not so much patience for their particular brand of up-tempo indie pop, this is probably one you can skip.
Tyler the Creator / Wolf
THEY SAY: Third solo album from Odd Future lead rapper.
WE SAY: Tyler the Creator is one of those rap artists who tends to make people reassess their allegiance to the genre. His homophobia and misogyny are difficult to ignore, but so is his talent. Wolf features guest appearances from Frank Ocean, Pharrell, Erykah Badu, and many others. Like too many rap albums, it’s far too long at 18 tracks--which is too bad, because with a bit more editing, Wolf could have been a high point for Tyler instead of another near-miss.