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For those completely unfamiliar with Anticon, Yoni or Why?. Anticon is an indepedent label in which Yoni Wolf started with others and still maintains today. Why? is an experimental electronic band (they're not hip hop), which of course is on the Anticon label. The base of their music is electronics and they experiment with vocals, lyrics, timing, and rhythms. Usually, it's quite serendipitous. I'm all about allowing artists the freedom to experiment how they desire, it's the greatest element of Indie music.
Why? still represents Yoni Wolf but not solely. Why? is now a three piece act, which includes Yoni's brother, Josiah Wolf, and friend, Doug McDiarmid. With the addition of these band mates, Why? is showing it's diversity and maturation.
Three years ago, "Elephant Eyelash" was their first collective release and is still amazing. "Alopecia" (which is a medical term for baldness) is definitely a positive leap forward for the band. This release is by far more cohesive, accessible, catchy, melodic, constant, you name it. It's better. Some of Why?s best songs are featured here. I can even go as far to say that Why? have finally outdone Subtle this year. Subtle of course being a surprisingly popular experimental band by Dose One (Yoni's partner in cLOUDEAD and an original Anticon member). While neither are in competition of each other, it's very noteworthy as Dose One has been a beneficiary of boost in fame these past few years.Read more ›
I can tell you that you will get more value out of this one record than anything the mainstream artists will squeeze out this year.
Also, find Boards of Canada's remix of "Good Friday" if you can. It's just amazing.
Clear sound. Good original tunes with unpredictable inventive changes. Sharp lyrics. Sometimes ambient, sometimes street. What more could you ask?
Why? slow rap down, (so you can hear the words), and give it a melodisity which makes it more accessible to the white listener. The lyric style (invented by REM) is obscure but intriguing. Sometimes they're telling a personal story which touches off resonances in your own experience, but only obliquely. I don't know how they do it but the words work a magic. Why?'s sound and lyrics have, now, overtaken REM. What they lack is REM's driving rhythm and that's what's keeping them out of the mainstream, but maybe that's not worrying them and they'd rather stay true to their aim.
There's a swagger to the rap of Why? that I like. Lead singer Yoni Wolf's boy-next-door-but-hip voice explores adolescence like it was yesterday (which for him it was). They melt rap, hip-hop and boy-band pop into a wide awake, just graduated from high-school, atmosphere, playing on their youth and sexuality and not realising that they're not quite making it in the adult world - yet.
So the simplistic skeleton of sound which greets your ears on the first listening fills out with repeated listening to become almost a symphony and you notice female choruses, and melody lines. If you asked me what any of the songs were about I couldn't tell you, and yet I get strong images from all of them. At times it's the sophisticated sound of ultra-modernity, yet there's always that human touch to it.
Or to put it another way:
Like appreciation of all great rock. The first time you hear it it's like a jigsaw puzzle, but with only twenty or so pieces giving an incomplete picture.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift for my son and he specifically requested it. Since he did not say that he disliked it so I am assuming it was great. Thank you.Published on February 20, 2014 by susan whitaker
Love the WHY? sound. They make some great music and this album is one of my favorites. Very original and creative sound.Published on August 27, 2013 by betsyross
Simple This CD rock! i threw away all my other cds and bang this in my car everyday! also in my carPublished on August 21, 2013 by Erik
This is, quite simply, one of the single best Indie releases of all time, ranking alongside Neutral Milk Hotel's "Aeroplane Over the Sea", Modest Mouse's "Lonesome Crowded West",... Read morePublished on March 19, 2011 by Kevin F. Tasker
I'm (slowly) making a vinyl collection and this was a "must" for my collection. I already own this in mp3 format, but it was worth the repurchase.Published on February 5, 2011 by greenandpurple
Fun album to listen to, very cool artwork too. I definitely reccomend any WHY? listeners to grab this album.Published on May 7, 2009 by E. Garcia
Yoni somehow manages to grow and improve with every album. Alopecia is the next step up in Why?'s staircase to indie rap perfection. Read morePublished on November 8, 2008 by Joshua N. Hedge