Album Review: Shamir ‘Revelations’

By Bryony Holdsworth

23 year old Shamir Bailey is an experimental artist, his third studio album spinning away from his usual sugary electronic sound. Growing up in Las Vegas, he was introduced to an eclectic range of music which flitted in-between genres, and this influence is glaringly apparent in his latest LP.

Shamir’s androgynous voice is beautifully complimented by the minimalist musical accompaniment in opening number ‘Games’, the soundtrack an electronic, monosyllabic beat. Revelations was recorded immediately after Shamir suffered a psychotic episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This vulnerability has formed a spiritual album of transitory existence, Shamir seemingly tormented in this eternal state of limbo.

Revelations is a raw album of human expression, with ‘Straight Boy’ an honest exploration of toxic masculinity and sexuality. His ethereal voice glides over the musical production, imploring the listener to answer his question: “Can someone tell me why, I always seem to let these straight boys run my life?”. His voice is drenched in emotion and the rumbling musical accompaniment feels oddly overwhelming at times, almost uncomfortably close.

The adolescent, shimmery pop of ’90’s Kids’ perfectly encapsulates the bitter division between generations and the paralysing anxiety felt by youth: “We out here struggling”. The video is an amalgamation of popular internet memes, but with Shamir’s face edited over the top, his apathetic expression dripping with irony.

Shamir has successfully pulled Revelations away from the upbeat groove of debut Ratchet, a glittering beacon of hope emerging from the pain of his past.

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