2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It really doesn't get any better than WHY?,
This review is from: Mumps, Etc. (Audio CD)
Unlike 2009's Eskimo Snow which saw WHY? take a more pop direction, Mumps, etc. goes back to their hip-hop roots but still sounds like an indie record as Jonathan `Yoni' Wolf's unusual vocal style is prominent throughout. First track `Jonathan's Hope' begins with an eerie hum and dainty piano section that sets up for the wonderful weirdness of the rest of the album. Soon after, a hip hop beat kicks in and Yoni raps over the top of this with various twinkling bells xylophone effects in the background. Not only does Yoni rap, he also sings - or at least tries to in a kind of whining way. `Strawberries' contains a real hook and whistling, again the main beat is matched with exotic percussion.
The etymology of Mumps, etc. was Yoni's run in with the disease which left him fighting for life, while also battling with depression and coming to terms with the world. A theme that runs right the way through Mumps, etc. is a positive beat and melody but lyrics that completely contradict this as heard in `Way High On Highway' the chorus is in a major key but Yoni wails "I am obliterated/Get close and be frustrated".
It's clear while some songs on this album are about recovery and how far Yoni has come, `Jonathan's Hope', conclusively he is still fighting with life. `Sod in the Seed' is a real stand out track with a faster paced beat and an off-beat guitar/percussion part which gives it a limping kind of feel. It's definitely the song with the most charm as the chorus holds a strong hook and the rapped verse flows so naturally.
With profanities galore, Mumps etc. is a very honest record that probably won't appeal to everyone upon first listen. However, Yoni's eccentric vocal style and the eclectic mix of innovative rap, song and delicate percussion provide a fantastic album that I really can't fault.