Monday, August 29, 2011

Tinariwen: Tassili

It's not always a good sign when a band (or their producer) invite special guests to join in on a recording or add overdubs later, and what we have here is a brave, mostly impressive no-nonsense acoustic set that includes a batch of unnecessary collaborations. Tinariwen are a brilliant live band who have deservedly built up an international following for their infectious, pounding fusion of desert blues and the styles of the nomadic Tuareg people of the Sahara. After their last album, the charming, surprisingly laid-back Imidiwan, I had been expecting a return to the electric guitars and energy of their live shows or their classic Aman Iman. Instead, they have produced their most sparse, gentle album to date.

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