Merrill Garbus confronts her "whiteness" and a party ensues.4AD, 2018
7.8 / 10
Merrill Garbus makes fantastically eccentric pop music. At once, it’s both strange and catchy; carrying a rhythm that you can easily follow as if she’s the pied piper. And you’ll follow her to your doom just because the music is THAT good. However, because THAT election happened, there was going to be some fallout in her music. Afterall, Garbus is great at weaving a socio-political message into her songs, even if you don’t realize it. For some listeners, it may just sound like a lot of garbus. You get that again with I can feel you creep into my private life. However, her messages feel more pronounced this time. And maybe that’s just because we expect it from Garbus. It doesn’t make these songs weaker; that’s for sure.
For private life, Garbus focuses some on THE election, but most of the narrative focuses on the post-election and the events transpiring. Also, a major theme of the album revolves around Garbus’s whiteness. So you’ll hear songs reflecting on confronting her “white privilege”, which is still a polarizing topic for many. That being said, if Garbus’s past political messages never affected your enjoyment of her music, it probably won’t happen this time either. Even if some lines like “Colonizer” spring into the open: “I use my white woman’s voice to tell stories of travels with African men.” But it’s not really a bad thing if private life‘s messages sink in, especially if they challenge your own beliefs. Good music is often challenging. Combine that with Garbus’s great ear for melody and exciting rhythms and you have another winner from Tune-Yards.