US - California - Full Moon 198 - 10/29/12
When checking Why?'s (as a band, not Why? a.k.a. Jonathan "Yoni" Wolf solo) debut album, Elephant Eyelash (2005) I was charmed to my knees. Second album, Alopecia (2008) was a good treat as well. At the time Why? collaborated (read: had songs remixed by) with artists like Boards of Canada, Xiu Xiu, Half-handed Cloud, Dump and others. Third album, Eskimo Snow (2009) wasn't that good. The latter was described by Yoni Wolf as "...the least hip-hop out of anything I've ever been involved with."
Now it's Mumps, Etc.. Will we see a more swollen band? The first spins leaves me doubtful. "Sod in the Seed", which was put out as a single (or fronting an EP) a couple of months in prior to the album's release, is quite snappy. "Waterlines" show a more toned-down Why? And, while Yoni still seems to be a rhyme-smith, this sounds like being an album where Yoni doesn't maintain his regular cool, but comes out as being more of a grown-up, more a matured person. In fact, the majority of the songs are calm and quiet, and the former 'catchy'n'bouncy' band seems to have been lost, or have gone into hiding.
I'm sorry, Jonathan "Yoni" Wolf, Josiah Wolf, Doug McDiarmid, and Liz Wolf, but for me Mumps, Etc. appeared as a big disappointment. Better check them old records once more.
Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen