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Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: This solo release from the anticon collective's Jonathan Wolf (aka Why?), also a member of cLOUDDEAD, sees the experimental rapper mixing in a healthy dose of indie guitar with beats and samples that venture from lo- to hi- fi.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Unlike cLOUDDEAD, every track on Oaklandazulasylum is, at least musically, accessible and inviting.
  2. From the first song it sounds rich and original.... It's as major a step as you'd expect-- really, as you'd demand-- from someone like Why?, not only for its sheer inventiveness, but the continuity that turns these lyrical snapshots into moving portraits.
  3. His melodies hang in the air, homespun like Saturday afternoon arts and crafts, creating a lush foreground that contrasts something lovely with his minimalist production. This latest holds to that formula, and improves upon it.
  4. All you can do with oaklandazulasylum is dive in and hang on to the moments of true beauty, the shards of shattered folk songs, synth-pop and multitracked harmonies that litter--or decorate--why?'s mindscape. [Sep 2003, p.118]
  5. 60
    A few of these tracks feel more like unfinished sketches than completed songs, but if it's sparse folk-noir you're after, why? delivers the goods. [Aug 2003, p.90]
  6. However hit and miss, though, all of these voices and genre grabs are made to sound stylistically coherent. [#236, p.71]
  7. If you can get past the clothespin-on-nose delivery... and the constant up-and-down swoops and dives in which it's delivered, the album has a certain sense of awkward, ramshackle charm that's frequently unhinged and claustrophobic at once.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 10, 2012
    Yoni Wolf is a genius and his first record is proof of that. Expanding on the sounds he made with Greenthink, cLOUDDEAD, Reaching Quiet, and Hymie's Basement, Yoni's first official release as WHY? is as impressive as it is mind-boggling. Expand

See all 2 User Reviews