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iTunes Review

After putting post-rock on the map with their second album, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, Tortoise pushed into new territory on 1998's TNT. The forward-looking Chicago band tapped into the Windy City's long-standing avant-jazz scene to expand their sound even further. By the '90s, the jazz community first fostered by artists like Art Ensemble of Chicago included a whole new generation, and the presence of new Tortoise member Jeff Parker on guitar and guest cornetist Rob Mazurek marks the band's assimilation of that aesthetic. Of course, plenty of the old Tortoise elements are still in play here, like the Steve Reich–esque tuned percussion tapestries on "Ten-Day Interval," the pulsing, Krautrock-inspired grooves of "Swung from the Gutters," and the Afrobeat inflections of "The Equator." But from Parker's aqueous six-string tones to the increasing jazziness of the drumming, there's an undeniable opening-out process at work on TNT, as Tortoise prove that you can only be a truly progressive band if you keep progressing.

Customer Reviews

Best album of the year

Don't think, just buy.



From the first 30 seconds...

... Until the last minute, I was captured by Tortoise. Each song evokes a different shade of "rainy day" music. I closed my eyes and saw myself surfing some secluded break in Mexico during TNT, then headed into a Greek coffee shop overlooking the coast on an overcast day to just stare out at the world when Swung From The Gutters Kicked in, then back across the world to the Brazilian rain forests under a giant squall for Ten-Day Interval and... Well, hopefully, you get my drift. This album epitomizes laid-back electronic indie rock... No words, all soul and mood. Previewing the songs would be a crime against the artists, if you are into good "study" music or are looking for something to celebrate 4-20 to, wrapped in your sheets with the lights off, look no further.


Formed: 1990 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tortoise revolutionized American indie rock in the mid-'90s by playing down tried-and-true punk and rock & roll influences, emphasizing instead the incorporation of a variety of left-field music genres from the previous 20 years, including Krautrock, dub, avant-garde jazz, classical minimalism, ambient and space music, film music, and British electronica. At odds as well with the shambling framework of alternative rock's normal song structure, the group -- as large as a septet, with at times two...
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