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Eskimo Snow (Anticon)

With Alopecia, art-rap group WHY? released my favourite album of 2008. That record is devastatingly emotional, radically melodic and ultimately fresh. While Eskimo Snow is modelled after its predecessor, it lacks real thrill and inventiveness. Singer Yoni Wolf has totally abandoned his rap origins for tuneful indie-pop, and the record suffers from the lack of hip-hop infusion. But the album is not without its memorable hooks, like the undeniably pretty "This Blackest Purse" and the meditative "January Twenty Something." Still, it's hard not to regard Eskimo Snow as a step back, even if it's a solid, enjoyable listen.

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Vol 26, No 24
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