I was recently given the opportunity to review the debut release by One eskimO, a band that I'd neither heard nor heard of prior to receiving a promotional copy of their new self-titled album. Before I was given a copy of the album I was told that the band would be great fit for fans of Snow Patrol, Massive Attack, Gomez and Damien Rice, and that the music might be considered ambient, electro, and acoustic. Let me preface this review by saying this album is almost none of those things.
I would describe One eskimO's music as being more fit for fans of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, John Mayer (perhaps this band should be called Jne jeskimO or Jne meskimO, but I digress) and 90s popular rock ala Semisonic and Fastball. As far as genre goes, One eskimO plays a laid back, soft rock, which, in its most "obscure" moments (though you could hardly call any part of this CD "obscure") barely verges on trip hop and R&B.
"Hometime", the first track on the CD, is an almost bohemian, semi bluesy ditty that appropriately sets the tone for the album. The song is based off simple, rhyming lyrics with soft vocals and a cool, mellow delivery. "Kandi", the current single and rock station hit, samples Candi Station's "He Called Me Baby" (a Patsy Cline cover) and is a more upbeat, full on radio-friendly rock/adult contemporary hybrid with hints of R&B thrown in the mix. If you find this track enjoyable, the rest of the album will likewise be easily accessible and enjoyable. The remainder of the album plays off the same conventions as the aforementioned tracks. At points the album does veer of it's course slightly, with attempts to verge into trip hoppiness that sounds more like an ode to 90s rock.
Overall, this is a very safe, mellow album that could probably stand to be a little more daring. Though it lacks any hint of experimentalism, "One eskimO" excels in being a standard contemporary popular rock album that many people will find enjoyable.
The band is currently on tour with Micheal Franti and will also be playing some festivals and headlining shows. The remainder of their summer tour dates are below:
June 01 Toronto, ON (The Guvernment)
June 03 New York, NY (The Beach at Governor’s Island)
June 04 Boston, MA (House of Blues)
June 05 Essex Junction, VT (Camplain Valley Expo)
June 06 Hunter, NY (Mountain Jam Festiva)
June 08 Royal Oak, MI (Royal Oak Music Thtr)
June 09 Grand Rapids, MI (Orbit Room)
June 12 Memphis, TN (Minglewood Hall)
June 13 Kansas City, MO (Crossroads)
Aug 14 Denver, CO (Mile High Festival)
**I was provided with a One eskimO promotional CD courtesy of One2One Network for review purposes only and allowed to post my thoughts at my discretion. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed here are mine.**