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Friday, 28 March 2014

New Album Review - Karmin - Pulses

To say that we've been waiting for this album with anticipation here at SCP would be a massive understatement. We've closely followed Karmin since we were blown away by Brokenhearted two years ago. We've loved everything they've released to-date and having the 'on the horizon' album finally here is very exciting. 

So being the massive Karmin fans that we are, did we like Pulses? Did it meet our already high expectations? Did Karmin manage to maintain enough of their kookiness or did they go more commercial. Well find out all of that and more here now..!
We suppose the most crucial question is, did Pulses meet our high expectations of Karmin? The answer is well and truly yes. This is a strong album. The tracks are fun and kooky enough to be interesting over the standard generic Pop we've all heard before. 

Being such a new band, Karmin have been very successful in bringing a sound that is all theirs. They've infused this in each and every track in Pulses and this impresses us.. a lot..!

Let's break it down...

Geronimo Intro
This short little track sets the scene for the rest of the album. It's clever and fun - but not a song. Great for listening to the album in full, not so much for shuffle!

The title track sets the tone of the whole album - we reviewed the song and video recently and our love for the song has wained nil!

Well we all know this mega-smash track so we won't go into it, except to say we love it!

I Want It All
Shockingly, SCP staffer Pete, who's the biggest Karmin fan in the office, didn't get I Want It All straight away. The 'bah bah bah's' at the start of the song put him off and it wasn't till the song came on in the car a couple days later and he found himself bopping to the infectious beats that he fell in love with it! Brilliant, brilliant, brillant!

Night Like This
Perhaps the next single, Night Like This portrays all the hallmarks of a single with a upbeat chorus, a great little riff and of course Amy's rap that we always love. Night Like This is a great way to introduce the 'rest' of the tracks on Pulses - it will hold your attention and just make you want to hold out for more!

Neon Love
We weren't quite sure if a ballad would grace the track listings of a Karmin album, but sure enough we have one with Neon Love. The second question is can a band known for their upbeat tunes do a ballad? Well not only can they do it, they can do it quite successfully! There's a surprising amount of emotion in Neon Love - so much so it gave us shivers listening to it! Cleverly they've left out Amy's rap and Nick does well singing harmony on the track. Well done Karmin. Bravo!

This is slightly different for Karmin, starting off with more a R&B vibe to it, albeit with a edgy rawness to it. Listening you're kinda transfixed - where will this song go, what will it do next? Then we get Amy's cool rap as a bridge to the chorus before we get a classic strong Karmin chorus that uplifts and involves you like any good Karmin song! Love it!

Tidal Wave
Another new sound for Karmin with hauntingly beautiful piano starting off Tidal Wave before both Amy and Nick bring their vocals to the song. They share the singing responsibilities and take turns in the verses and join forces to great effect in the chorus. Slightly Gotye in the sound, Tidal Wave adds great depth to Pulses

Isn't Gasoline a clash of sounds that somehow work together perfectly! Starting off with just a beat, vocals and an electronic buzz in the background, the song unexpectedly turned into a reggae-ish chorus that has your body moving with the vibe!

Another different sound from Pulses is the electro Puppet. This is probably the least Karmin sounding track on Pulses but they still own the track for sure. Each time we've listened to Puppet we've loved it more and more. Definitely a grower!

Hate To Love You
Nick kicks off the vocals on Hate To Love You before Amy's signature Rap brings in the chorus in probably the most Poppy track on the album. A well chosen song to follow Puppet as that song brought you out of the Karmin stratosphere but Hate To Love You brings you right back to planet Karmin!

Try Me On
Amy really channels Nicki Minaj in Try Me On - have a listen to this track and imagine Amy and Nicki in a rapping competition - you laugh?! Thought so!! We think Amy would win as her raps are beyond reproach and suit Try Me On perfectly! 

What's In It For Me
The last track on the album starts off a little bit weird for us but fortunately the chorus redeems the track with it's power backing track and Amy's vocals help bring it up to that extra level. 

So you'll probably guess from the above that we LOVE Karmin's debut album. It's interesting, quirky, fun, creative and just downright enjoyable. Definitely an album that any Pop lover should own we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more of Karmin in the future! You gotta buy Pulses on iTunes right now..!

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