Published May 14, 2020After receiving high praise on debut album Green Twins, Nick Hakim is back with sophomore album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD, which displays flashes of brilliance, showcasing the Brooklyn-based artist's talent in song arrangement.
Shifting between its two core sounds of dream pop and soulful R&B, with hints of indie rock and electronic, the album's biggest highlights resonate with these current times. "QADIR," dedicated to Hakim's late friend Qadir Imhotep West, is a reminder to check in with loved ones, making it quite pertinent for these stressful times of quarantine. Second single "CRUMPY," meanwhile, is a shining example of Hakim's exceptional songwriting and arranging, detailing Hakim's relocation from his hometown of Washington, D.C., to Brooklyn, dealing with homesickness and becoming "one with the concrete."
Where Green Twins used a soulful instrumental palette and gang vocals to bolster Hakim's sound, WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD relies more on sound effects that push Hakim's vocals aside, which hurts it a little — as Hakim's vocals offer a lot. His vocals aren't super present in the mix, with Hakim instead choosing to let his instrumentation and sound effects do the talking, though some tracks have a tendency to lose focus, like the busy-sounding "WTMMG."
Though without some of the magic of his debut, Hakim's sophomore full-length shows that he is still full of genre-bending potential. (ATO Records)