Album Review

Shamir - Homo Anxietatem

As poignant as ever.

Shamir - Homo Anxietatem

Shamir isn’t afraid of a bit of hard work. ‘Homo Anxietatem’, translated from Latin as “anxious man”, marks the Philadelphia-based multi-creative’s ninth studio album across eight years, and his second since the world emerged out of lockdown. Whereas his previous full-length - ‘Heterosexuality’ - delved into many facets of queer life soundtracked by a riotous, everchanging soundscape, his latest effort adopts indie-pop as its lifeblood, and stretches his thoughts further beyond sexuality. In message, it’s as poignant as ever. The defiant ‘Words’ presents Shamir’s self-confidence with a profound simplicity. “The words don’t hurt anymore,” he celebrates over subtle percussion, his distinctive tone cutting through with a newfound sense of self-belief. ‘Without You’ notes the individual’s responsibility in climate change, its lyrics remarkably simple and direct, yet cuttingly dark. “I can’t help but wonder what they could be without you,” he sings of the planet. Born of Shamir’s growing anxieties during the pandemic, ‘Homo Anxietatem’ jumps between shared experiences and his own, as beautifully inconsistent as much of his catalogue to date. On the surface it may appear comparably safe in tone; a softer and arguably less frustrated sound runs throughout. Yet it never shies away from the unmistakable fact that Shamir has something to say, and that it’s always worth listening to.

Tags: Shamir, Reviews, Album Reviews

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