WHY? - Eskimo Snow
Short-but-sweet opening track These Hands announces Eskimo Snow’s emotional register. Blessed as ever with a grandiose gift of the gab, these ten tracks see Why?’s Yoni Wolf “facing history with little-to-no irony”, his distinctive speak-croon articulating personal quandaries as opposed to simply dazzling with word-games.
OK, so there’s still a fair amount of irony scattered amongst the introspection, but combining wit with intimacy continues to serve Mr Wolf well: for example, the straightforwardly-phrased yet complexly-poignant “these hands are my father’s hands but smaller” introduces a paternal theme hammered home nine tracks later, in album highlight the Blackest Purse’s appeals for parental vindication: (“what should these earnest hands be holding?...Mom am I failing?”). Musically, Why? drift further away from previous hip-hop experimentations, moving them closer to conventionality. But they retain enough idiosyncrasies to ensure that textbook strings can’t eclipse their sparkling intellect, mellifluous innovation and, most profoundly, the rhythmic heart propelling these revelatory lyricisms.