17 Pygmies-13 Black Birds


17 Pygmies have been away for 17 years, but the 10-member 2006 version of the California consortium has returned younger than yesterday to produce its best work yet, a 30-track, two-disc beguiling behemoth.

Even if you discount the fact that disc two is 13 versions of the same song, done in wildly differing ways by different folks, the first disc is enough to satisfy even the heartiest appetites for misty, untethered folk with occasional string flourishes and, on “Lotus”‘ the oft-repeated song on disc two’ heavy beats. It’s as if Mazzy Star lost the blues, if Opal rode again or the Cannanes made a decent-sounding record.

The title track stands out for nice percussion and vocals that would sound equally at home at a nice wedding or a Goth funeral. Highly recommended for night driving or as the soundtrack to a snowed-in evening.

– Tory Troutman

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