Saturday, October 3, 2009

Capsule review: Why?

Eskimo Snow
[2009, Anticon.]
3.5/5 (Heavy Rotation)

Alopecia was one of my favorite albums from 2008, but Eskimo Snow is musically superior. A marked change from past efforts, the album finds the band playing straightforward indie-pop, having completely eschewed their hip-hop inclinations they once featured so prominently. While the musical quality on Alopecia ranged from adequate to interesting, Eskimo Snow is lush, layered, and often flat-out gorgeous. Lambchop's Mark Nevers' spacious production accentuates the nuances in the vibraphone/piano/guitar arrangement of "Berkeley By Hearseback" and the sweeping piano string strums of "Even the Good Wood Gone." While I don't think frontman Yoni Wolf's lyricism is quite as clever or focused on this effort, his ruminations on sex, spirituality and mortality are far more acute than most singer/songwriters in the "indie" world (whatever that is). If you haven't listened to Why? before, I think this would be a good starting point. Well, maybe a good follow-up to Alopecia, anyway.

Buy it

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