Ah some nice news for 2017 we have Why? back. It's been awhile since his last missive the rather underwhelming 'Mumps etc' but opener 'This Ole King' promises a return to the enjoyable twisty pop of 'Elephant Eyelash' etc. Entirely recorded at home for the first time since his very early work the oddly titled 'Moh Lhean' promises a multi-layered, warm and optimistic album.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 28 February 2017
Always nice to have Why? around.
I don't know it just is.
I'm hoping that this album is a lot better than that 'joke' and at least one thing is certain, opener 'This Ole King' is Yoni Wolf back to the sort of form that made albums like 'Elephant Eyelash' so special. It's a big sprawling song in two parts like some kind of musical bee with hooks galore and a revitalised, joyous feel. In fact this whole album has an uplifting feel. It is the first album to be recorded at home by the bros Wolf since the early day lo-fi stuff yet it sounds stuffed full of sound. Sometimes over stuffed perhaps? It's certainly busy with all manner of acoustic guitar trills and keyboards floating about and early doors both "Proactive Evolution' and 'Easy' have big punch the air choruses emerging out of the clatter.
I admit it, I never quite got on with 'Mumps etc' feeling that Why's music lost something of it's distinctive brilliance over the years with the hooks not hitting quite as hard. I'm hopeful about this oddly titled 'Moh Lean' as Why's music always grows on me though I have concerns about some of these hooks being a bit..um...obvious and Why? has always surprised me. Although it's nice to hear such joyous music coming out of these boys typically it's the sad songs that catch my ear - 'The Water' has a lovely plaintive melody which gradually gets lost in a heap of sonic debris like Grandaddy scratting around a steel yard and closer 'The Barely Blur' has something of an ELO/the Beatles thing going on. Don't let that put you off - it could yet be a 'Hey Jude' for ageing back-back guys.
This complex music could yet turn out to be brilliant. Keep listening, keep listening.
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