Why? - Alopecia [Anticon/Tomlab - 2008]Alopecia finds why? building-on and filling out the quirky dark pop guitar music of their last album Elephant Eyelash with a few nods and journeys back to their hip-hop past too. All to give an album that while’s not as instant or as playful as Elephant Eyelash really does grow on you over time.
Lyrically the album is much more bitter,dark and sneering than anything Why? The band or as a solo artist he has produced. In the past there was always darker and more downbeat traces in the lyrics but there was also a lot of humour and fun, the humour has all but left now with the lyrics been more in-bitterered & full of personal neurosis thats often has quite a grotesque and sleazy tilt to it. Alopecia also sees the return of more rap based vocals and hip-hop beats on a few tracks, which is nice to hear return as Elephant Eyelash had all but ditched this side of their sound and I rather missed it. The musically side of things is still highly tuneful, harmony licked and quirky with the sound becoming less and less jarring and more polished. There’s a wider selection of instrumental colour on offer through-out the songs with members of Fog dropping by on a few tracks and the odd guest production or instrumental touch by their Anticon comrades. The album also see why’s voice taking on higher and more harmonic tones through-out. All in all it’s an enjoyable and consistent album that when it gets it’s hooks in is difficult to prise from your cd/ mp player, though I do rather miss the more fun/ quirky side of Why? .
A more grown-up life heavy album that still keeps that distinctive Why? sound and identity but with the music & song writing having a lot more polished, fuller and approachable feel. Though I not sure how many new fans this will bring as the dark neurosis filled lyrics will be a little too bitter and sneering for many.Roger Batty