Tinariwen (+IO:I) - Ténéré Tàqqàl (Singles Going Steady)
Here, the Sahara's own rock stars lament the current state of their home desert, of the constant power struggles that stain the region.
Adriane Pontecorvo: Tinariwen's Tuareg blues have never needed lyrical interpretation for the language-limited; the feeling always bleeds through. Here, the Sahara's own rock stars lament the current state of their home desert, of the constant power struggles that stain the region. The desert night echoes through “Ténéré Tàqqàl” with warm breezes and the twang of incomparable guitars; Tinariwen continues to tell an unending story of struggle with that vast beauty, with the combined power of sand and string. Like everything the group does, this single sways and pulls at the heartstrings, pure expression through both music and lyrics. As always, no melancholy is more sincere and no tale more elegantly told than Tinariwen's. [10/10]
Andrew Paschal: It's good to be reminded every now and then that when I step outside of a Western pop context, I have no idea what I'm talking about. Tinariwen seem to have a leg up on me, though, fusing as they do Tuareg and other West African musical traditions with traces of American and English rock music. The overall feel is a little more relaxed and leisurely than what I usually go for, but the technique is strong nonetheless. [7/10]
Scott Zuppardo: Killer Malian folk blues from the Sahara Desert. Ethereally closely sounding to the fabled North Mississippi Hill Country blues vibe (a personal obsession), you can feel the similarity in melody and even the emotional fortitude behind which the vocals commence. This nearly perfect music, you may not digest the dialect but you absorb its meaning. [10/10]
Tinariwen's new album, Elwan, is releasing 10 February 2017.