Indie artist, Shamir, released his third album, Revelations, on November 3 through his home label Father/Daughter Records. The mellow, nine track LP is a mostly mid-tempo collection that exudes a beachy, lo-fi vibe distinguished by Shamir’s soft falsetto soaring over simple beats comprised of mostly synthesizers, electronic drums, and staccato guitar strumming. Though production is amateur at best, there is something charming and fairly intimate in how under produced and stripped the album as a whole feels, though admittedly, maybe not charming enough to save it from the plethora of rough spots that could be a turn off to the causal listener.
Lyrically is where the album shines. Honest and straight to the point, the album definitely warrants its title stringing together the resolves of young adulthood with mantras about getting over events in your past, people in your past, and the lessons learned from it all. Shamir’s writing is a breath of fresh air among his mainstream peers: playful while still vulnerable (like in “Your Song”), tactfully observational (like in “Straight Boy”), and metaphorical (like in “Astral Plane”).
Unfortunately, this is overshadowed by the biggest pitfall of the album: Shamir’s voice itself. While it is complimented beautifully when accompanied by only acoustic guitar (featured regularly on his Instagram’s #singinginthedark series), its thin and slightly nasaled quality does not blend well when layered which makes attempts at harmony hard to listen to like in the chorus of “Straight Boy” (though it’s one of the best songs on the album). For a fair portion of the album, the vocals never really find themselves in the mix and in places are strained and out of key, most noticeable for me in the song “Cloudy.”
Overall, Revelations is just a sub-par to okay album. If you can make it through, it certainly won’t be the best thing that you’ve heard all year and probably not even the best thing that you’ve heard from Shamir (especially if you’re familiar with his 2015 dance LP Ratchet or any of his acoustic sets), but you may find one or two songs worth giving a second play.
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