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Why

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“The Hollows” by WHY?, from Alopecia (Anticon):

Why (usually printed with a question mark) is one of the musically juiciest groups working anywhere near the hip-hop banner today — and it boasts one of the lyrically driest frontmen in music, period. With a voice that sounds, in its natural state, like drunk Mike Doughty singing into a fan, vocalist Yoni Wolf half-chants, half-groans hilarious and off-putting verses about, say, faking suicide for applause in the food courts of malls or sucking dick for drink tickets at the free bar at my cousin's bat mitzvah. Those little gems are from the Oakland band's latest, Alopecia, a record awash in shadowy instrumental landscapes — lo-fi acoustic guitar, orchestral backdrops, despondent piano, hollowed-out beats — and bristling with lyrical fangs. As with Wolf's best writing, standout tracks "Good Friday" and "The Hollows" shine a world-weary light on small, dark, seedy spaces: a Starbucks bathroom, an "art museum john" ("Good Friday"), the dark corner of a basketball court ("The Hollows") — all of which are used as sites for clandestine acts of perversion. Sam Mendes, eat your heart out.

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