Consumer Guide: November, 2023
Sixteen unfaltering songs from a Navy vet; painful honesty from Indonesia; electronic textures and beats with occasional choruses; and songs of global warming and the rich getting richer.
Bombino: Sahel (Partisan) Internationalist Tuareg guitar adept Oumar Moctar has never sounded defter or brisker. Subtly yet declaratively, lyrically yet cogently, he’s always making desert music one way or the other. But with one‑man percussion cohort Corey Wilhelm buoying the boss’s rhythms so brightly you could lose your bearings and claim he evokes a bubbling spring, you’re grateful that the other West Africans featured here do more than simultaneously pour on the sand and fill out the ensemble. They make it an ensemble, all for one and one for all. A MINUS
Boygenius: The Rest (Interscope) Just as we humans are but motes destined to vanish into the eye of God, so these four leftovers are but outtakes stranded in music’s unchartable sea of melody and groove (“Afraid of Heights,” “Voyager”) **
Zach Bryan: Summertime Blues (Warner) A mortal man walks among us on a nine‑song EP (note: that’s long for an “EP”), depositing tracks that are merely likable after establishing his bona fides with some sure shots (“Quittin’ Time,” “Summertime Blues”) ***