Nikki Nack (Explicit)
Released: May 2014
One of the most forward-thinking artists, Merrill Garbus decides to broaden her reach, smoothing out her one-of-a-kind voice and cleaning up her productions -- all just to make way for more complexity, like with the odd time signature on apt opener "Find a New Way." Elsewhere, she continues to politicize R&B with a song about how inauthentic she is ("Real Thing"), shows off her dazzling, Mbuti-influenced circular singing ("Rocking Chair") and writes a "no means no" chant for women of all ages ("Manchild"). And just for good measure, "Sink-O" exploits her vague similarities to System of a Down.