Why? Early Whitney EP

[Anticon; 2003]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: lo-fi post rap-turned-lo-fi indie pop rock
Others: Reaching Quiet, Pavement, cLOUDDEAD, Hymie’s Basement

Anticon’s resident folk-rocker Why? follows up his critically acclaimed Oaklandazulasylum album with the Early Whitney EP. This is a bonus for those Why? fans that can’t get enough of Yoni’s slower, more singing-oriented, and melodic tunes that were scattered throughout his full-length release.

Allowing live instrumentation to play a larger role in the music than previous efforts, where samples made up the bulk of the production, Why? successfully crafts these six songs with the grace of an indie rock vet. The one song which was included on Oaklandazulasylum, “Early Whitney,” appropriately kicks off the record. With it’s simple yet enticing acoustic guitar work and catchy melody, it sets the trend for the five new tracks that follow it. Sampling is still evident on these songs, helping to create
ethereal soundscapes that assist the live instruments and push the songs further. Why?’s brother Josiah contributes with his drum playing on the songs as well.

Why?’s lyrics, which always prove to be entertaining, are at their best here. Whether it’s tales of a girl named Darla and her ovulation, or suburban kids trying to find their own identity in this world, Why? delivers his heartfelt songs with charm and elegance.

Where Oaklandazulasylum could sometimes be disjointed and erratic, the Early Whitney EP has a unified sound that helps make this tiny collection of songs an easier listen. The listener is able to focus attention on the brutally honest, clever, and sometimes childish lyrics that Why? has become known for. It’s just as intriguing to watch an artist’s steady development as a songwriter. That, along with Why?’s knack for constructing poppy melodies, keeps us waiting to see where he’ll take us next.

1. Early Whitney
2. Ladyfingerz
3. Point Blank
4. Darla
5. Me On Beer
6. The Crest

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