I recently discovered this new album that we just got in at the library called One Eskimo by One eskimO. Although the cover did not look very promising and mostly cute, I decided to check it out anyway. Slow and mellow music is usually not my cup of tea, but I immediately fell in love with it. I even decided to look up some reviews. Not to my surprise, this album did not get many raving reviews, yet a few interesting facts caught my attention.
Kristian Leontiou, who is a lead singer of the band, released a couple of singles and an album of chart-friendly, mildly experimental acoustic pop that saw him reach the Top 10 on the UK Charts. But then he was immediately forgotten.
Possessing a supple, clear as a bell vocal style–at times reminiscent of James Blunt–and an ear for a nice melody, Leontiou is back with a new band, the oddly capitalized One eskimO. Rather than appear in any of their videos, the band have taken the Gorillaz route by creating eye-catching cartoon graphics, with one of their videos already the proud recipient of a 2008 British Animation Award.
Produced by Rollo Armstrong, older brother of Dido, the songs are all expertly crafted and nicely packaged. My favorites are “Kandi” and “Givin’ Up.” “Kandi” has a catchy, laid back beat with gently plucked guitar is matched by Leontiou’s simple vocals when suddenly a female voice emerges for the chorus. Immediately, the song is transformed as the Candi Staton’s sample (taken from “He Called Me Baby“) kicks in, her powerful, emotive voice elevating the song to a new level.
Don’t let the mediocre reviews deter you from listening to this album. Take my advise and listen to it, I can guarantee you will like at least one song. Plus, the videos are very endearing.