Album Review: They’re Calling Me Home by Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi


Album: They’re Calling Me Home
Artist: Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
Release Date: April 9, 2021
Label: Nonesuch Records
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Calling Me Home”
  • “Avalon”
  • “I Shall Not Be Moved”
  • “Bully For You”
  • “Amazing Grace”

Thoughts: Rhiannon Giddens, an innovative interpreter of various types of American traditional music is once again joined by Italian instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi.  They both live in Ireland now and recorded this collection as a response to the COVID pandemic.  The traditional songs are thematically joined by theme of home as a place one longs for as well as the theme of death as the ultimate home for all of us.  Giddens voice is gorgeous on these songs and the instrumentation and arrangements are simple but still remarkable.
Rating: ****1/2

Related Post:  Album Review: there is no Other by Rhiannon Giddens (with Franceso Turrisi)

Album Review: The Beginning, the Medium, the End and the Infinite by IKOQWE


Album: The Beginning, the Medium, the End and the Infinite
Artist: IKOQWE
Release Date: March 5, 2021
Label: Crammed Discs
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Falta Muito?”
  • “Pele”
  • “The Medium (O Meio)”
  • “The End (Kamicasio)”

Thoughts:

IKOQWE are a pair of fictional characters who, coming from a distant time and space, are confronted with today’s world. Their impressions are conveyed over the course of an exciting album which blends electronic music, hip hop and the sounds of ancestral instruments from Angola.

If you read this description of IKOQWE’s Bandcamp site and aren’t interested in what they sound like, I don’t know what to tell you.  The description of the duo’s debut album goes on to say:

The album contains 11 tracks, and includes drum machines, vocals in Angolan slang, Umbundu, Portuguese & English, discussions about neocolonialism, iniquities & falsified history, radio sounds, utopian solutions, and much more.

I can also tell you that there are some sick beats on this album.  It’s creative and vibrant, and I’m sure I’ll be grooving to it for some time to come.

Rating: ****