Tune-Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

The Tune-Yards and front woman Merill Garbus have always put their politics front and center in their music. Each album finds a new political discussion to wade into with little regard for being politically correct. Being a feminist while still hating the way you look and police brutality have been themes in Gabrus' writing even before they were the main topic of conversation in public discourse. Her music has always been heavily influenced by African and Caribbean rhythms, something she has had to square with being a white woman from Connecticut. Somehow though she has always squared the two and created music that fulfilled the need for political venting and musical creativity. I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life wraps the political ideas up in poetry and electronics with Gabrus often sounding like an Arca in her delivery but with more pop sensibilities. "ABC 123" lays it all out from Trump to the California Wildfires basically wrapping up all the shit everyone went through in 2017. Here's the thing about most albums with political bends in 2018, they don't land. The ides have been so hashed out and debated on the internet and on TV that any political talk on a record feels tired and overwhelming. We get so much politics in our daily life that to also force it through music doesn't seem to work anymore. There was a time where it seemed like musicians had the answers when it came to politics, like in the 1960s, but now it feels like they are just parroting ideas we've heard thousands of times. Of course politicos aren't the only topic on this record, but they loom so large it gets you this real off putting sense.

Perhaps it's the fact that Gabrus really up'd the ante on the dance music for this record that makes it feel somewhat off. Shoving dance and the politics of white guilt into one album is more than enough to make the listener feel uncomfortable. "Honesty" has Gabrus' vocals chopped and put over this striaght up electro beat, and actually features some of her best singing on the record, but it also is an absolute mess of a track. "I use my white woman's voice to tell stories of travels with African men" is one of the lines on "Colonizer" where as you would expect Gabrus takes a nice dig at "colonizing European culture" but it feels like an attack for no reason, just to satisfy this ego destruction that Gabrus is attempting to find. In trying to demolish her own ego with this record Gabrus only uplifts this idea that everyone else is wrong and She is right, replacing one ego with another. It's also such a tired repose to rail against the mainstream so much so that railing against actually has become mainstream. Yet Gabrus arrives at these ideas like it's an original thought, not one that has been posted on Facebook by social justice warriors ad nauseam. That is not even to say that the ideas are wrong, because they aren't, it's just taking these ideas so far that you loose connection with reality. Wrap all these ideas of being a conscious white person, sung by a white person but with a ton of African and dance rhythms and nothing is going to square. The sentiment is correct, but the class from the top of a mountain that Gabrus is trying to deliver here is fucking painful.

5.1 out of 10


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