A year and a half after releasing the acclaimed “Alopecia” LP, WHY? returns with their fourth album, “Eskimo Snow.” You won’t have any trouble making out Yoni Wolf’s honest lyrics in “Eskimo Snow.” With a sincere and at times detached voice, Wolf’s words roll off his tongue in an inviting manner where you just can’t help but start singing along to this inspiring album (and not in hip-hop way). With less slurring and rhymes, their latest album “Eskimo Snow” is a bit more sober, and rocks a lush pop-infused psych-folk sound.
There’s something enticing about the piano. It can heighten numerous feelings of emotion through touching on various keys. Why?’s “Eskimo Snow” is no stranger to engaging their listeners with both elegant legato keys to the darker, mysterious scare of a forte bass note.
A few favs:
“January Twenty Something” – I love the rapid, yet delicate piano intro and how it adds suspense to the guilty lyrics Wolf will soon reveal. The instrumentals here join both the vibraphone and piano together as they take us through an enchanting duet.
“Even The Good Wood Gone” – Although there’s so much continuity in the music, the lyrics will confuse the shit out of you, almost like a drunk man’s babble. But if you listen closely, there’s true meaning to Wolf’s words.
“Into The Shadows Of My Embrace” – SEX! Beginning with a sweet and slow rhythm, then riding into a steady pace of lyrics and sound, “Into The Shadows of My Embrace”ends in an explosion of thrashing guitar envy. With lyrics all about sex and decay, I found the phases of instrumentation closely related to sex as well (intimacy, climax and release).
“The Blackest Purse” – Although some coin this piano-driven track to be a bit emo, I think it’s one the loveliest and most heartfelt ballads on the album. With lyrics a bit on the mushy side, Why? is way too fuckin’ cool to be referred to as “emo” in any standard. But wait! “Still sportin’ my ex-girlfriend’s dead ex-boyfriend’s boxers,” WTF! Ewww!
Resonating with some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard, of life in all it’s ugly beauty, Why?’s “Eskimo Skin” confesses tales of hopes, fears and love, told in a way that paints a cinematic montage of scenes in your head.
PS – WHY? actually recorded “Eskimo Snow” at the same time as “Alopecia,” however, the two albums are magnificently worlds apart.