It's very rare than an album challenges me.


Most albums, despite the hype and despite whatever expectations I may have, are fairly straightforward affairs and reviewing them usually comes down to assessing how well they fit into, or, in rare cases, redefine their related genre. In this context, most CDs that I review are either relegated to the ‘good' pile which enjoys mid to high rotation in my CD player or the ‘bad' pile and languish behind my couch gathering dust, or, in extreme cases, used as drink coasters to save me from cleaning my coffee table.


Mother's Daughter and Other Songs, the debut album for UK duo Tunng, is an album which defies such simplistic appraisal.


Indeed, it has taken me over a week to review this album and not because of any inherent dislike on my part and certainly not because I haven't listened to it, for I have, repeatedly. The reason for my tardiness is simply that I had nothing in my musical schema to compare it to, no genre I could completely align it with, no way I would frame it in an existing mode and very few words to adequately describe it.


In the world of Tunng, nothing, it appears, fits in a neat little box.


Beginning with the title track, 'Mother's Daughter', I am lulled in a false sense of security in thinking that this is another folk album, with it's delicate melody, sauntering pace and soothing vocal. Then the electrical wizardry begins and all bets are off. You would think that such an unexpected auditory (and distinctly non-musical) feature would be jarring enough to leave the listener distinctly disconcerted. However, every electrical buzz, blip and sample is at home within the context of this elegantly disarming and infinitely intriguing album.


Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders, the two halves that is Tunng, have created an album which is less a series of songs than a series of sound-scapes. In that, a song by song dissection would be useless in the context of this review. Due to the sheer amount of information within, each listener is going to have a markedly different experience with each exposure.


While I am at a loss for a more detailed description, what I can assert with surety is that Mothers Daughter redemocratises traditional music classifications and genre constraints. At times being folk, electro and distinctly avant garde and at others, being none of those things at all. Therefore, if you have an open mind and are willing to leave your preconceptions at the door long enough to explore the intoxicatingly seductive world of Tunng your inquisitiveness will be infinitely rewarded.

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