Reviewing ‘Hello’ and Karmin’s Past
Today Karmin released their new album, Hello, and I was just lucky enough to have previewed it last week!
The Daringest Duo had recently explained that the album is dedicated to their fans and centered around their journey to success.
The album has the track ‘Walking on the Moon’ up first, and is not to be confused with the Police song. ‘Walking on the Moon’ includes soft melodies and sentimental lyrics, a catchy repetitive riff, and Amy Heidemann’s insane rapping. The instrumentation and rhythm remind me of Kanye West’s past endeavors, but the song straddles the line between being a love song and an assertive hip hop feel.
Of course we have their well known single, ‘Brokenhearted’ on there as well along with…well, the rest of their story!
My favorite track may just be ‘I Told You So’. It’s everything I would look forward to in a pop song. Unexpected instrumentation-we get some horns in here-and a different musical style. Guitars, synth, rapping, and an eastern sound. I’ve always loved it when artists incorporate harmonic minor, Phrygian, Persian scales…all that jazz! The duo cited the different skills and musical styles they learned at Berklee as an influence as to what went into their songs. ‘I Told You So’ is a great example of this.
During the last interview session I had with the two, they mentioned working with other songwriters on a few tracks. I can hear this in the track ‘Too Many Fish’, as it has a very Beyonce feel to it, but Karmin carries it well. ‘I’m Just Saying” is a sort of ‘go get ‘em’ anthem, with a very straightforward pop feel.
‘Coming Up Strong’, a track already loved by fans, was written solely by Heidemann and Noonan. This surprised me. Upon listening to it for the first time, I felt that the track had a country pop feel to it, which made me question who the co-writers were. Turns out Noonan and Heidemann know a thing or two about the songwriting formula! The song is heartfelt and broken up well by Heidemann’s rapping over powerful harmonies.
The title track, ‘Hello’, may just be my second favorite track. Sure, the synths sound familiar to many pop songs, and the ‘hellos’ remind me of some Nirvana riffs, but the rapping makes this song. I love how the lyrics are a grand hello to new listeners and fans, while the rapping addresses those who criticized Karmin on their journey or didn’t believe they could make it. It’s just great. Even if you don’t like pop or rap, you have to give them a hand on this one. Sometimes you just want to say ‘look what I did, even when you didn’t think I could’ to anyone who put you down along the way, and Karmin’s ‘Hello’ does this without sounding mean or cocky. It’s reassurance for anyone facing the same journey.
The album is diverse and catchy, and I really enjoyed it. You can definitely tell that the two are talented musicians and well trained, which is very welcome in today’s industry. I’m very excited to see where they will go from here…but I also wanted to touch upon their past.
I contacted the Galaxy of Stars Talent Search in Nebraska about Amy Heidemann’s win, which led to her to Berklee College of Music.
Wynne Adams, the executive producer for the Galaxy of Stars Talent Search, first met Heidemann when she competed at the Adams County Fair in Hastings, Nebraska. She won second place!
Adams remembers Heidemann well.