A&E

‘Northtown’ Star Shamir strips down to reality on ‘Hope’

Image

Three stars

Shamir Hope

Last week Shamir Bailey bared his soul to Out magazine. He admitted that he’d been dropped by his label; that the throwback disco vibe of his acclaimed 2015 debut LP, Ratchet, was only an experiment, and it wasn’t a sound he cared to be locked into; and that his recorded-in-a-weekend, Mac DeMarco-inspired lo-fi sophomore LP Hope, released for free via Soundcloud, is the result of his desire to “make something real.”

Judged on those merits, Hope is a victory; it kept the North Las Vegas native from quitting the music business. As to its musical merit, well, you tell me. Personally, I like these sloppy and honestly-expressed songs—all of them muddy-sounding, and a couple of them literally unfinished—and some real gems, like the post-punk-y “Tom Kelly” and “One More Time Won’t Kill You,” emerge on repeated listen.

That said, I could also understand fans of Ratchet and 2014 EP Northtown showing up for more of Shamir’s spacey, countertenor-sweetened boogie and being disappointed by Hope’s bed of amplifier buzz. You’ll know right away: If you’re still onboard halfway through the album-opening title track, with its angry guitar sheen and plaintive vocal (“I hope, I hope, I hope for me and you again”), you’ll like the next nine songs, too. If not, he’s promised two more albums soon. That’s three more Shamir records than we might have gotten otherwise.

Tags: Music, Album
Share
Photo of Geoff Carter

Geoff Carter

Experts in paleoanthropology believe that Geoff Carter began his career in journalism sometime in the early Grunge period, when he ...

Get more Geoff Carter
  • Recently she’s been singing with longtime Las Vegas lounge favorite Pop Rebels, formerly known as Generation.

  • “I went through 15 cervical spinal surgeries at the height of my music career, and then came back seven years later on American Idol.”

  • “We’re here to support gay, straight, blue, green—it doesn’t matter what color you are. Music is music, people are people.”

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story