In many ways, Tinariwen's sixth album is a direct response to the dire political situation in northern Mali. Due to threats against musicians (and one member's kidnapping!), the desert rock band had to record this in a different desert -- Joshua Tree. But the response is also musical: With a few exceptions (like Saul Williams and Josh Klinghoffer on the spaghetti western-ish opener), the cross-rock collabos of past albums have been replaced with focused tracks that meditate on and draw from the music of their homeland. Tracks like the pensive chant "Arhegh Danagh" pull you into their purpose.