Friday, December 31, 2010


Both wonderfully immediate and at times inanely saccharine, U.K. outfit One Eskimo's self-titled debut offers up a brand of unapologetic soft rock that will immediately divide listeners into fervent camps of enthusiasts and detractors. 

Count me among the enthusiasts.

Combining lead singer Kristian Leontiou's warm, slow-burning vocals (think James Blunt, Jack Johnson, or a less idiosyncratic Dave Matthews) with the polished instrumental adventurousness and solid melodicism of a really good B-tier Brit-pop act (Snow Patrol comes most immediately to mind), One Eskimo's songs are a lyrically forgettable but musically varied and highly appealing lot.

Several tracks stand out for me: breathy opener Hometime, the relaxed Simple Day, the moody, urgent Givin' Up,  rollicking singles Kandi and Chocolate, and best of all, the rousing, completely disarmed Amazing, probably the most enthusiastic celebration of sex's life-affirming power I've heard since Elbow's One Day Like This and TV On The Radio's Lover's Day in 2008.

But make no mistake, as engaging and likeable as most of these songs are, the ultimate star is the production

It's phenomenal. 

Crystal clear, highly atmospheric, ridiculously sure handed, and incorporating all manner of trip-hop and art rock flourishes, the production on One Eskimo is as good as slick and glossy gets, creating a far more dynamic feel than one is used to with this sort of soft rock, and elevating every track on this album a notch or two.

So bottom line, if you're in the mood for something that goes down super easy, be sure to give One Eskimo a listen.

There's very little I heard in 2009/2010 that goes down easier than this.

Status: Solid Recommend.

Cherry Picker's Best Bet's: Kandi, Givin' Up, Chocolate, Amazing.

Here's the official video for Kandi.

Component Breakdown:
1. Hometime - 8
2. Astronauts - 7
3. Kandi - 8
4. Slip - 7
5. Simple Day - 8
6. Givin' Up - 8
7. Chocolate - 8
10. UFO - 6
11. Amazing- 9
Intangibles - Very High

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What did you think of One Eskimo? Let reader's know in the comments section.

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