The pop music Merrill Garbus makes as tUne-yArDs mutates many of the catchiest elements of contemporary top 40, tainting them with twisted polyrhythms, maniacal shout-outs, inventive playing and kitchen-sink lyrical content. On Nikki Nack, her third LP, Garbus retains her reputation as an auteur who is as irresistible as she is annoying. The high-gloss production quality of this new collection makes for mixed results: featuring five of the finest songs in the tUne-yArDs’ catalogue, a handful that slowly wear out their welcome and a scant few that are just plain grating. Still, the creamiest of the crop are well worth the listen.

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