Minnesota's best albums of 2016 (so far)
Sarah White, “Laughing at Ghosts”
“I don’t care if they hear us,” Sarah White sings with a steaming urgency in “Siren,” one of the songs on her perfectly cohesive, filler-less five-song EP where the lines between love and war are blurred. The former Black Blondie and Traditional Methods vocalist came out of the dissolution of a longtime relationship and her short-lived space-funk band Shiro Dame sounding stronger and more determined than ever. “Huesos” kicks it off with a jubilant R&B/pop vibe, but by the slow-burning “Ghost” (with guest singer Lady Midnight) both the lyrics and music take on a new edge that will cut through any box she might be put in.
Zuluzuluu, “What’s the Price”
Much like White, this six-man collective of local hip-hop and R&B musicians — which includes velvety falsetto master Proper T, DJ Just Nine and rapper/beatmaker Greg Grease — at once sounds futuristic and retro, as its edgy electronic dabblings and psychedelic grooves bump up against hints of hazy ’70s R&B and dirty-minded Prince. There’s a proud and adamant Afrocentrism to their seven-song debut collection, especially the P-Funky title track. But hooks like, “She rides me like a bicycle seat,” prove these guys are out to have a little fun, too. The whole album is a smooth ride. (Zuluzuluu opens for Femi Kuti at the Cedar Cultural Center on July 15.)
full list at Star Tribune