Marika Hackman

I’m Not Your Man

Sub Pop

May 29, 2017 Issue #60 - Father John Misty Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

What is the range of difference between one artist with an appealing, clever voice and a fluent guitar with attitude and another? Well, taking in Marika Hackman's sophomore album, I'm Not Your Man, gives some idea. There's nothing out of the ordinary found in these personal illustrations. Yet the balance of measure in production (by Charlie Andrew, who has worked with alt-J) accompanying the cool coating effect of Hackman's singing and carriage of writing is disarming. That alluring mixture of emotional vulnerability with moxie is right at the forefront. Along with a keen sense of wounded melody and you see why artists like Mitski are so captivating.

It's clear that Hackman doesn't just want to win you over with pop device. Her sliding in of personal style to verse chorus bridge arrangement is deliberate and ultimately "Marika was Here" stands out on the proverbial wall of the venue. You halfway expect a Pablo Honey-era Thom Yorke to pounce in behind the opening riff of "Boyfriend," where you get some idea of Hackman's feisty stance. The somber cello backdrop of "Round We Go" paints a dramatic depth of field, elevating her ambience, while "Violet" is coldly seductive in both message and mood.

Mainly, there aren't enough chances taken to keep you hooked in for the duration of 13 songs and this might be a case of selectivity leading to greater impact overall.

Though Hackman seems decidedly against posturing, there are some efforts where thematicism goes overboard, as with the ancient lore tonality of "Apple Tree," which feels contrived. When she sings, "Don't fill me up/I really like my outline" you'd agree were it that the line was pulled a little tighter. (www.marikahackman.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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