Singer/songwriter Hakim Briki was born in Algeria and currently resides in New York. Music has always been a part of Briki’s life; and his goal since age 19, to write great pop music, continues this year on his stellar new release Dreamer-in-Chief. The album features a live band sound that crosses genres from indie to power pop to alternative in a style closely related to the new wave of R.E.M. His opening track “Karma Is Alive And Well” typifies this style with a surreal and dark sound. The call and response between Briki vocals and the piano melody on the outro, over suspenseful guitar chords and a wide open, cavernous production evokes a real fear of being lost.
As a songwriter Briki leans towards a sophisticated style that uses harmony to its full extent. “Quantum Harmony” begins as a subdued major to minor progression before transitioning with diminished chords into an emotionally cathartic outro of dueling violin guitar and synth lead that perfectly mirrors Briki’s lyrical vow to let knowledge fly though him “at the speed of light.”
A similar use of word painting is found in “Laughing At The Void.” Uplifting and confident, Briki belts “I’m gonna smash that wall” in the soaring chorus with synth string stabs in the background that create a real momentum which matches the lyrical message.
The conclusion of this album “Dreamweaver” is a soothing and dreamlike wall of sound built by vocal harmonies, watery guitars and strings. The second half of the track features the album’s only instance of an audio sample, further evoking the detachment of dream.
Hakim Briki’s Dreamer-in-Chief is a throwback with a lot of heart, combining a plethora of sounds very much rooted in the ’90s with more modern dream-pop influences. Every song on this project features a gorgeously constructed melody, and Briki’s soothing and sometimes impassioned voice carries this well produced recor from the first beat to the last. While this work might be too heavily steeped in it’s influences for some listeners, Dreamer-in-Chief is never-the-less a truly winning and evocative piece.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook