sinkane

It’s probably not too surprising, given his long history of collaboration as a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist for hire (he’s played live with and for the likes of Caribou, Yeasayer, Of Montreal and Eleanor Friedberger) but on both of Ahmed Gallab’s previous albums as Sinkane he came across as an individual positively bursting with musical ideas connected only by the fact that they were all so obscure, so niche. He’d be channelling funk one minute, some obscure Latin influence the next, and then suddenly settling back into more typical dance territory before diving into something else entirely. His range of touchpoints and his talent were never in doubt, then, but he struggled with sonic cohesion, something he’s done a better job of with ‘Mean Love’.

This third album doesn’t swing quite as eccentrically between styles, instead opting for a sound that blends funk and pop with Gallab’s unusual, high-pitched soulful vocals. Standouts ‘Yacha’ and ‘Hold Tight’ showcase his flexibility – both underscored by groovy basslines, they’re by turns boisterous and mellow, but the real breakthrough here is Gallab’s success in proving that he can rein in his experimental side; what we’re left with is a hidden gem of a pop LP.

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