10 of 1001 Songs: Tinariwen’s Tenalle Chegret

Tinariwen mixes the sounds of the mainstream world with the sound of the Sahara Desert in this song, and the album Imidiwan: Companions. The lead vocalist somber tune is powered by the arrangement of instrumentals on the tune. Though the band has instrumentals incorporated from their region they have also been noted as one of the few bands to actually keep the blues vibe alive today.

History: The album this song was featured on was released in 2009. Critics did enjoy the tune and it was met with many positive reviews for their fourth album. There isn’t really much on this particular song on the album though. I’m not even sure if it was released as a single, and for that matter I don’t know that any of the tunes on this album were released as singles.

Vocals: Because of the different arrangements this band has went through this band has no particular line up. It seems that the nomadic nature of their culture even causes them to go through different band members. The vocalist had voicing that matched the tone and vibe of the album, but I can’t say that I personally enjoyed it. He sort of just talked and put a bit of rhythm in it, but overall it felt off pitch.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals of the tune are very interesting, and they do seemed styled from the region they live in. I think this gives the tune a lot of culture. I found it interesting that the guys who composed this album weren’t familiar with American blues though. It wasn’t until they started touring the U.S. that someone mentioned it to them. So in actuality the guys found the style by themselves.

Lyrics: I was bit surprised by the lyrical content once I translated them. I didn’t expect for the tune to be a love song directed at someone. I’m not trying to imagine these words with these instruments and it makes for an interesting tune. I think the lyrics fit the beat and the movement of the tune though. I can also see why in their region they might have been controversial.

If you’re into music from around the world that has lyrics and instrumentals that can be heard and fit in with other places then you’ll enjoy this tune. I felt the tune was good, but didn’t catch my interest to further explore the band or listen to the tune again. They have talent, and I like how they’ve incorporated a wide range of instrumentals into the tune though.

Rating 6 of 10.

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