Album Review

Baba Ali - Laugh Like A Bomb

There’s a little of the previous few years’ zeitgeist to it.

Baba Ali - Laugh Like A Bomb
There’s a little of the previous few years’ zeitgeist to Baba Ali’s second album. It’s there in the title, ‘Laugh Like A Bomb’; a phrase full of uneasiness, designed to have us questioning our own split-second reactions. It’s also there in the track titles - ‘Bankrupt Funk’ and ‘I’m Bored’ evoking the monotonous desperation of that period best not talked about before one even need press play. The music too, with its bleak sonic palette and treadmill-like repetition, hints at an attempt to evade a slog, gives an impression of being caught in a human-scale hamster wheel, around and around go the ‘80s-like synths while Baba’s vocals meander on monologues. The decision to self-produce (2020 debut ‘Memory Device’ was recorded with Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem’s Al Doyle) gives it a harder edge; where the likes of ‘Black Wagon’ wielded a softness alongside its propulsive dance, here the bubbling ‘Burn Me Out’ and the title track are far more uncompromising. It can lead to spots of nothingness - ‘Gold Rush!’ and ‘Lip Service’ feel largely forgettable - but it’s the urgency of ‘A Circle’ where ‘Laugh Like A Bomb’ finds its gut-punch, its vocals conveying genuine emotion.

Tags: Baba ali, Reviews, Album Reviews

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