Album Review: Sad Hunk by Bahamas

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Afie Jurvanen, or better known by his stage name, Bahamas, is a singer and songwriter from Toronto, Canada. I was first introduced to this band from someone else, but I have always kept an eye on them in case they released new music. Also, if you listened to my latest podcast, Bahamas was one of the first concerts I went to when I moved to Arizona. Now, in 2020, Afie released his fifth studio album, Sad Hunk.

The first track from the album is Trick To Happy. The track starts out with an easy going, laid back guitar instrumental. After the first few seconds, you are greeted back by his familiar vocal melody. This definitely is a staple track of their sound if you haven’t listened to any of their albums before. Also, the vocal harmonies during the chorus are pretty normal to his sound as well. On this track, he talks about how there isn’t a shortcut to being happy and you’ll just have to go out there and keep going.

Own Alone turns up the tempo of the album and has more groovy guitar features that is somewhat reminiscent of beach music. The track also opens up with the high pitched vocal harmonies saying, “I’m on my own.” I also enjoy the guitar work on this track more than the previous track, mostly with the several different layers he had to record for this. During the chorus of the tracks he talks about how he’s on his own, but how he’s also not alone. He also digs into the concept of being too old for some of these younger women that want to talk to him.

Less Than Love opens up with some soft vocal female harmonies. That leads up to the first thirty seconds of the track, and then Afie comes back in. This track is very stripped back in instrumentation, but Afie says it’s one of the more personal tracks on this album. Each verse seems to be talking about a women he is with, which could be a reference to his wife. He talks about how sometimes the words are hard to find and that he doesn’t want her to be upset with him.

Done Did Me No Good is a quick, under three minute track. The guitar that is playing at the beginning definitely changes up his tone a bit. However, about fifteen seconds in, you return with his normal, and quirky guitar playing. This definitely feels like a fun and quick track from him, especially with the snaps and claps backing the track. I also enjoy the increasing intensity of his vocals towards the end of the track. Afie talks about how he’s at a place professionally where he can make almost anything he wants to make.

Half Your Love is a quick, acoustic track to break up and change the album a little bit. While it is pretty minimalist in instrumentation, he does add some vocal layers and harmonies to make it a little more interesting. Even though it is a quick love track, I honestly don’t think this track is for me since I’m not getting much from this. This is actually a track Afie had co-wrote with someone and he said that he’s always trying to write a better love song.

Up With The Jones bring us back to the weird and quirky instrumentation with the guitars. This is also one of the few tracks that’s over four minutes in length. To add to the interesting guitar parts, I do love the mix of acoustic and electric guitars during the chorus of the track. To add to the pessimism that surrounds to the album, this track is about wondering and letting your thoughts wander. He always wonders if he’s making the right decisions in life.

Not Cool Anymore continues to the different layers of string instruments, as well as a simple percussion rhythm in the background. While just being an easy laid back track, he seems to be reminiscing about the old times and when he was younger. He talks about how he’s not cool anymore and can’t keep up with the times, even though he tries to hold onto his youth. I also like the small reference to Don McLean’s American Pie track in the third verse.

Can’t Complain marks the shortest track on the album and it’s just under two minutes in length. It seems like the percussion takes more of a front since the guitar notes are so short and separated. Like I said, the guitar notes are still there, but they just seem so varied and not together. On this part of the album, he says he has to be thankful for the things that he currently has. While there are challenging parts, life will throw you a lot of challenges that you will have to get over.

Fair Share brings back the groovy guitar and bass licks. However, there are parts of the track where the guitar notes seem similar to the previous track. Despite that, there are some true beautiful moments of guitar playing on this track. It also seems like the tempo of the album has slowed down a bit. This track also focuses on the feeling of gratitude and being thankful for the things that have come his way in life. He also talks about how you can’t wait for certain things in life.

The last and final track from the album is Wisdom Of The World. This is also the longest track on the album and it just clocks in under five minutes in length. This is another stripped back track that definitely focuses on the percussive beats, such as the snapping and clapping. The instrumentation quickly changes halfway through the track and you get the full feeling of the guitar solo. Afie also seems a little more playful with his voice on this track. However, this is another personal track of his since the first verse talks about how his brother is a recovering addict. While it has taken a toll, he has learned to forgive instead of holding grudges.

While there are some truly powerful moments throughout the album, the lows really take a toll of the entirety of the album. There are some great tracks that can be singled out, but there are also tracks that I could have gone without.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Favorite Tracks: Own Alone, Done Did Me No Good, Up With The Jones, Wisdom Of The World

Originally published at https://www.lazymusicguru.com

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