While 2018’s mixtape ‘Badkid’ garnered some acclaim, it was the following year’s ‘Will You Be My Yellow?’ EP that really marked a breakthrough for Bakar, the North Londoner earning a sleeper hit with its single ‘Hell N Back’. It’s clear from ‘Nobody’s Home’ that the intervening years have enabled the Camden creative to hone his message. On this debut full-length, he oscillates between the personal and political in an exploration of identity. On ‘Not From Here’, he’s “Barely a citizen / Still pleading my innocence” while on ‘Free’, is a “futuristic immigrant.” No two songs sound the same here, as Bakar borrows from indie rock and alternative pop, hip hop and gospel. Take ‘Ginger Pubes’ for example, an impassioned snarl of frustration and self-deprecation as he almost screams at its climax. In contrast, the smooth ‘Riot’ has him backed by choral chants of “Be free.” The experimental ‘Build Me A Way’ wraps up a record of profound emotional expression, evoking both a spiritual and artistic journey as Bakar sings “I’m on my way.” Between his emotive vocal delivery and brutally honest lyricism, Bakar has produced an impressive and accomplished debut, well worth the wait.
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