Review Summary: “Hi nice to meet 'cha are you a believe-ah?/eve-ah? Eve-ah? Eve-ah!? Eve-ah!? EVE-AH EVE-AH EVE-AH EVE-AHEVE-AHEVE-AHEVE-AHEVEAHEVEAH!?!?”
Sometimes an album or a song strikes me as so brilliant and sublime that the need to write about it becomes a near physical urge. Something compels me so totally that I begin mentally writing the review long before my fingers ever touch a keyboard and when they finally do the words flow with an inspired ease, even if my writing is merely another breathlessly enthusiastic endorsement of a classic to be dropped in the bucket of other breathlessly enthusiastic endorsements of said classic to be tossed into the ocean of breathlessly enthusiastic endorsements of classics I have to write about it if only to be a little bit closer to its beauty. I thought this kind of inspiration could only be derived from great music, I was wrong.
I first heard Karmin’s “Hello” on the radio at the gym and, in a very weird way; I fell in love with it. Certainly I had heard worse songs before but my brain struggled to remember them during the onslaught of screaming toddler annoyance that is “Hello”, I had to know more about the demons that spawned it. Once I got home, I took to YouTube to find the music video, which involves Karmin frontwoman Amy Heidmann slumming about Chinatown with a sh*t-eating grin plastered onto her face (Which I'm pretty sure is her only facial expression). At the time of my accessing the top rated comment was “THIS is how a woman is supposed to rap”. Obviously that was a shot at rap game’s most hated, Nicki Minaj, the irony of the comment, other than the fact that Minaj could outrap Heidemann with her head in a bucket, is “Hello” is a straight up clinic
on how not to rap. Heidemann throws all kinds of ultra rehearsed flows into the song in a desperate attempt to impress while not actually saying anything. Some of the lyrics don’t even make any sense, “Massive street/jammed up to new weary”? “Slaying on a prayer/On the record grim reaper”? What? The utter nadir of the song is right before the chorus the “eve-ah” part of “are you a believer?” is grabbed and looped as a build up to the chorus (which rips off Smells Like Teen Spirit, by the way). It’s like having a tiny needle stabbed into your forehead over and over to the beat. It must be heard to be believed.
Karmin first came to prominence through some super gimmicky and staggeringly awful covers of songs like “6 Foot, 7 Foot”, “Look at me Now”, and “Super Bass”. Their appeal boils down to “Look at these white people rapping!” and that’s it. The popularity of these covers led to a deal with Epic Records. But when their first single, “Crash Your Party”, bombed on the charts it seemed for a brief glorious moment that Karmin would disappear back into the internet ether. Then “Brokenhearted” managed to become a top twenty hit and the Hello EP soon followed. Karmin spends most of Hello reveling in their success like snotty prom queens (“Told You So”), writing horribly bland ballads ("Coming Up Strong") or ripping off better songs ("Too Many Fish" "Hello"). Heidemann possesses a passable singing voice but as a rapper she is strikingly annoying. She subscribes to the Twista school of thought that rapping fast is the most impressive thing you can possibly do so she constantly uses double time flows to mask frequently piss poor rhyme schemes and her total lyrical vapidity. The music backing her up is composed of bland impersonations of pop rap and is barely worth mentioning.
My review is pointless, critics already hate the sh*t out of Karmin. Even Rolling Stone, who give damn near everything at least 3 stars, had to hit this with 1 and a half. Karmin spend just about all of Hello assuring everyone that they don’t give a flying f*ck about haters like me and will never change. But that’s okay with me, because I’m happy for their success. “Brokenhearted”s chart peak of number 16 is perfect for Karmin; in fact, I hope they encounter very similar chart positions for the rest of their career. Just high enough to be considered a hit and gain regular radio rotation but not high enough to become inescapable, because as awful as Hello undoubtedly is the radio needs a duo like Karmin. Not because they're good of course, but because anything, anything
, sounds better following a Karmin song, except another Karmin song.