12 Songs, 1 Hour 4 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

don'task...justlisten ,

Best album of the year

Don't think, just buy.

Justimari ,

not just nostalgia

This was one my favorite albums in college. Since i had it on Vinyl, I haven't heard it in a while. It's better than i remember.

chrsnorbt ,

My story of an album that feels like sunshine

I had bought this when it came out in 98. It was when I was first getting comfortable with the idea that not all great bands had to make it to the radio and top forty. As well as that not everyone has to like what I like. I would adopt this thinking into my life from then on out. This was one of "my" things, Tortoise, comfort food in audio form. I saw a video for TNT on this great show that MTV use to have that featured all electronica, drum and bass and the likes. I was at the record store and I saw this CD with a terrible cover on it. Everything that was going on with them visually I didn't get. But I remembered that song, the drums, mainly cymbals, taking forever to get started like some sort of sloppy albeit pretty, warm up, then this beautiful melody of some seriously pretty guitar intertwined with some seriously pretty bass to the point of not being able to tell them apart, done on purpose, and then the horn that comes in, I never even fully realized how jazzy this was. Some of the songs took time for me to warm up to them, but I would listen then later it would just start playing in my head. The whole thing is a lot different than their other albums because it doesn't feel like rock, or the whole idea of "Post Rock", it is something else entirely different. I make music now, electronica type stuff, and I can clearly see how this has influenced me, especially all the glitchy drum machine work on tracks like Jetty. They definitely were breaking tons of new ground and for me this is the go to album when you need some killer background music when doing creative stuff. Matter of fact, I was making some comfort food last night and I always have some soft music playing in the kitchen when I am making one of my masterpieces. So, I thought, "I know just the music to cook to." Turned out awesome, thanks Tortoise.

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