Breath from Another

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Breath from Another
Esthero - Breath From Another.jpg
Studio album by Esthero
Released April 14, 1998 (Canada)
April 28, 1998 (US)
Recorded 1996–1997
Length 56:13
Label The WORK Group
OK 68698 (North America)
489716 (international)
SRCS-8615 (Japan)
Esthero chronology
Breath from Another
Wikked Lil' Grrrls
Singles from Breath from Another
  1. "Breath from Another"
    Released: April 28, 1998
  2. "Heaven Sent"
    Released: July 21, 1998
  3. "That Girl"
    Released: June 17, 1999

Breath from Another is the debut studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Esthero.[1] The album was released on April 28, 1998 and now generally considered a trip hop classic despite poor sales. Despite its containing several expletives and sexual content, the album was not released with a Parental Advisory warning.[2] Thanks in part to the success of the album's music videos, the album has sold over 100,000 copies in the United States, and achieved Gold certification in the artist's native Canada.[3]


Esthero and Doc McKinney met in January 1996 at the EMI in Toronto. The pair's demos sparked interest from Warner Music Group, EMI and BMG in Canada. Esthero's managers, Zack Werner and Beau Randall, signed them directly to Sony Music Entertainment in U.S. The duo suddenly wrote "Superheroes", "Indigo Boy" and "That Girl." In August 1996 they wrote another 4 tracks, include the single "Heaven Sent".[4]
In late January, 1998, prior to album's release 15,000 copies of promo EP "Short of Breath", featuring tracks "Breath from Another", "Heaven Sent", "Country Livin' (The World I Know)" and "That Girl" were sent to Sony Music staff worldwide.[5] McKinney stated in a 2016 NPR interview that, when writing and producing the album, he was inspired by reggae, calypso, and house music, three genres that didn't receive much exposure in his native Minneapolis, also citing Björk, Portishead, and Massive Attack as influences.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]
The A.V. Club positive[7]

Breath from Another received positive reviews from music critics. Tom Demalon of Allmusic stated that album "too scrumptious sounding to be ignored", however called it unfocused. He praised tracks "That Girl" and "Country Livin' (The World I Know)" as album's best offerings.[4] Chris Molanphy of CMJ New Music Monthly noted that album sounds "slick for starters; clamorous but never abrasive, yearning but not very dark" and "organic".[8] The A.V. Club's review, penned by David Peisner, was also positive, commenting that while some of the songs were unimaginative, some (such as "Heaven Sent" and "Country Livin'") were more unusual, and praising Esthero's vocals as "sublime" and "sultry".[7]


At the Juno Awards of 1999, the album received a nomination for "Best Alternative Album."[9] However, it lost to Rufus Wainwright's eponymous debut album.[10] In 2016, the album was nominated for a Polaris Heritage Prize, for best album from 1996-2005.[11] The album lost, however, to Arcade Fire's "Funeral" (which won the public vote) and Lhasa de Sela's "La Llorona" (which won the jury vote).[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

Despite not charting in any country, the album sold 118,000 copies in the US and over 250,000 copies worldwide as of 2005. In Esthero's native country Canada, the album sold over 50,000 copies and received Gold certification.[3] "Heaven Sent" and "That Girl" received significant play on Canadian television (namely the music channel MuchMusic),[13] and also received some airplay on MTV. "Heaven Sent" reached number 27 on MTV's most-played videos chart.[14]


"Heaven Sent" was released as the album's first official single. It was released as a double A-side CD single with "Breath from Another". A music video was shot and received MTV airplay.[14] The single charted at #4 on Billboard Hot Dance Breakout Maxi-Singles Sales. "That Girl" was slated to be the album's second official single, but was never officially released commercially. It was released as the album's second promotional single instead. A music video was shot and aired on MuchMusic.

Uses in media[edit]

The title track was featured on the CMJ New Music Monthly February 1998 promotional CD.[15] "Lounge" appears on the soundtrack to film Zero Effect. The remix of "Country Livin' (The World I Know)" featuring dirty south hip hop quartet Goodie Mob was included on the Slam soundtrack. Tracks "Anywayz" and "That Girl" was used in films Boiler Room and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer respectively.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Breath from Another" Esthero, Doc McKinney Esthero, Doc 4:47
2. "Heaven Sent" Esthero, Doc Doc 4:30
3. "Anywayz" Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 3:54
4. "That Girl" Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 4:41
5. "Country Livin' (The World I Know)" Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 4:20
6. "Flipher Overture" Doc Doc 0:42
7. "Half a World Away" Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 4:18
8. "Lounge" Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 4:58
9. "Superheroes" Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 3:58
10. "Indigo Boy" Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 4:19
11. "Swallow Me" (with 5 minutes silence following) Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 6:06
12. "Anywayz, pt. 2" (hidden track) Esthero, Doc Esthero, Doc 4:40
13. "Wish You Away" (Japanese bonus track)      


Adapted in part from album booklet[16] and Allmusic[4]

  • Esthero - producer, string arrangements, vocals
  • Martin "Doc" McKinney - engineer, horn arrangements, producer, programming, string arrangements
  • A'ba-Cus - drum programming, engineer, programming
  • Evan Cranley - trombone
  • Zoren Gold - design, photography
  • Dave Gouveia - percussion
  • Jeff Griffin - mixing assistant
  • Gene Grimaldi - mastering
  • Rami Jaffee - optigan
  • Tyson Kuteyi - engineer, scratching
  • Oscar "DJ Grouch" Betancourt - scratching
  • Oscar MacDonald - keyboards
  • Mary Maurer - art direction, design
  • Tristin Norwell - mixing engineer
  • Ray Parker - conductor, string arrangements
  • Dave Pensado - mixing
  • Jason Ray - drums, toms
  • Warren Riker - Mixing
  • Eddy Schreyer - mastering
  • Tom Szczesniak - conductor, string arrangements
  • David E. Williams - keyboards
  • Malik Worthy - bass


  1. ^ "Esthero - Breath from Another". Discogs. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Molanphy, Chris (May 1998). "Esthero - "Breath from Another" review". CMJ New Music Monthly (57): 41. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b LeBlanc, Larry. "Billboard March 26, 2005 - "Esthero Puts Finishing Touch on 'Wikked' Set"". Google Books. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Tom Demalon (1998-04-28). "Breath from Another - Esthero | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  5. ^ "Billboard - Google йМХЦХ". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  6. ^ Muhammad, Ali Shaheed; Kelley, Frannie. "Doc McKinney: 'There's Enough Bad Music Out There'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Peisner, David. "AV Club review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "CMJ New Music Monthly - Google йМХЦХ". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  9. ^ "Esthero: Juno Nominations". Junos. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
  10. ^ "Best Alternative Album 1999: Winner". Junos. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
  11. ^ Bliss, Karen. "Polaris Heritage Prize: Neil Young, Alanis Morissette and Arcade Fire Make Short List for Pre-2005 Prize". Billboard. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "2016 Polaris Heritage Prize - Polaris Music Prize". Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  13. ^ Skinner, Jesse. "Esthero Interview". Toro Magazine. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Billboard Aug 15, 1998 (page 83)". Google Books. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  15. ^ "On the CD". CMJ New Music Monthly (54): 58. February 1998. ISSN 1074-6978. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "Breath from Another" album booklet

External links[edit]