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DJ Mick writesCritical Rotation: “Will This Make Me Good” by Nick Hakim

Twice a month, CHIRP DJ and Features Co-Director Mick takes a deep dive into two albums currently in rotation on CHIRP's charts that he thinks are worth some special attention. If you haven't given these albums a listen in their entirety, let Mick make the case for why you should!

Nick Hakim
Will This Make Me Good
ATO

The DC-based R’nB singer Nick Hakim’s existential and moral curiosities over runneth the pitcher of his mind on his second studio LP, Will This Make Me Good.

Working within the sturdy, if ponderous, architecture of his debut Green Twins, Hakim uses this blueprint of trancy, psychedelic soul and fog-machined, garage R’nB to find new hopeful directions for himself and others in a world that offers no easy resolutions.

Emblematic of his searching ray of sunshine through the clouds of our tempestuous present, is the wet and weary opener “All These Changes,” which tells the story of human civilization being slowly swept off the map by raging wildfires and rising coastlines, to a calming, orchestral, folk-funk flow that lands somewhere between Jethro Tull and Curtis Mayfield.

This is of course a tragic story to begin your album with, but it is ultimately a story of renewal. Unlike the much bleaker, but surprisingly tender, static-submerged, trip-and-scratch, daydream soul of “Vincent Tyler,” which recounts the killing of a titular young man in Hakim’s native DC, who was shot and killed in an alley in 2007, and who may have been saved, had the neighbors checked on the gunshots that they had heard the night before.

As dark as this story is, Hakim doesn’t pass judgment on its subjects. Human curiosity can easily be overcome by a sense of self-preservation, and when one hears gunshots in the distance, it usually not most people’s first instinct to run towards them.

A similarly empathetic and accepting depiction of human nature can be found on the angelic, spiritual jazz and sophic soul that flows upward out of an Alice in Wonderland-like, backwards tumble through a rabbit hole of existential quandaries, all of which surface in the passing of a loved one. On this track Hakim speaks to a friend who has died, asking, “Qadir what’s the deal now?” It’s a question without an answer and appears to be asked without a demand for a response.

Hakim isn’t really requesting replies to quell his curiosities for unknowable things. Rather he realizes that the search for such rejoinders is the source of what little solace that can be had in this world. 

Mick is always writing about something he's heard. Possibly even something you'd like. You can read his stuff over at I Thought I Heard a Sound Blog.

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Categorized: Album Reviews

Topics: nick hakim

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