BARA HARI - Lesser Gods
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
I’ve done enough talking of and with BARA HARI at this point that her history and discography should be second-hand knowledge for any followers of the site (even did a recent INTERVIEW with founder Sam Franco). So, we’re going to skip over all the introductory bullshit and jump straight into her debut, full-length LP “Lesser Gods”.
There are three songs that define BARA HARI to me, and this starts with what’s essentially an intro song. That is ‘Siren Song’. A piano ballad with some ambient backing and her pleasant vocals that eases us into a state of calm. Exactly what a siren should do – thankfully without the drowning attached. A quick one-minute and twenty-two second ballad that’s short and sweet, and one of my favorite pieces on her album.
There are some standouts on the album that deserve recognition – and I’ll start with one of my favorites. ‘House of the Devil’ is a gorgeous piece that showcases every single talent that BARA HARI has. I’m not speaking visually here (although those aspects deserve as much praise). This track is an electronic rock ballad that has a ton of expression behind each and every single syllable that’s sung. It’s passionate and the music matches BARA HARI’s delivery. From the breadowns to the somber piano melody – it’s a sheer force that I can fuck with.
I am also a huge fan of ‘Easy Target’. The heavy percussive elements give the song depth; a bit trip-hoppy in its approach. Acoustic guitar twangs hit at the right moments; it’s a song that evolves over time and doesn’t remain stagnant. Despite the electronic-rock aspect that hits on the track, the overall delivery is rather chill and atmospheric.
And now we’re going to dive into a few of the moderate aspects of the album. BARA HARI has tremendous vocal talent but I often feel as if her voice isn’t necessarily hidden in the mix, but isn’t brought enough to the front. Take ‘Tempest’ as an example. Around the two-and-a-half-minute mark, we get this amazing section where things get a bit quiet and BARA HARI does a bit of a vocal solo. Drums and electronics are still there, but this is a point where she shines and shines brightly. To me, the most dynamic element of BARA HARI is her voice. However, throughout ‘Tempest’ her voice doesn’t really stand out that well; its middling in the mix and doesn’t quite ring as loud as it should.
I also find a few of the songs to be a bit standard for the genre she’s approaching. ‘House of the Devil’ and ‘Siren Song’ show me what BARA HARI is capable of which is grand potential. But other songs, take ‘Looking for Oblivion’ as an example, doesn’t sound as inspired as the others. It’s fun, it makes me bob my head, it makes me tap my toes, but it’s not something that I find extraordinary in comparison to a few of her other songs. I felt much the same for ‘Violence Rising’, ‘Agoraphobic’, and ‘Immortal’.
I would not go so far as to say that BARA HARI’s “Lesser Gods” is a polarizing album – far from it. I do think it’s a good album. It’s not great, but it’s teetering on the edge. What I want to see more from BARA HARI is more delineation; stepping away of what’s expected and turning it into smash singles that’ll absolutely blow the pants off anyone who’s listening. I’ve gotten a taste of what that sounds like with the previously mentioned standout singles – and those are definitely getting playlisted. But there’s much more potential here that’s yet to be unlocked.Jul 09 2023
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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