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Hi.

Welcome to Rob Hakimian’s website, collecting together the best of his writing from over the years.

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Savages - Adore Life

[Matador]

Savages’ 2013 debut album Silence Yourself was a snarling, pugnacious album, from its title, through its contents and especially onto its front cover, where the band posted an uncompromising manifesto. Adore Life, as the title tells you, isn’t quite as confrontational as its predecessor, and in fact finds the band in much happier and life-affirming moods. But that by no means means that they’ve toned back the viciousness of their punk attack or the brutality of their riffs. It just means that when Jehnny Beth is imperially riding the break of their torrential rock waves, she can do so while belting out more about the joys and pitfalls of love, or her carnal desire for excitement.

This might not necessarily be what people want, having been spoiled by the scything menace of debut tracks like “Husbands” and “Shut Up,” but as soon as the needle’s dropped on Adore Life there’s no denying Savages onrushing, incisive bluster. The band whips up a true torrent of guitars in the opening “The Answer,” while Jehnny Beth commands from the peak, crying “if you don’t love me you don’t love anybody. Ain’t you glad it’s you?” From there we set sail on a turbulent journey through the Siouxsie-like dark flirtation of “Sad Person,” the pummeling thirst of “I Need Something New” and the neck-breaking stampede of “T.I.W.Y.G.” By the end you know you’re exhausted, but you are so hopped up on pure rock adrenaline that you feel you could go again, like any good rock gig.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the one red herring of the album, a song of the year contender, the semi-title track “Adore.” This bloodlit ballad casts a spectral shadow off of the immovable Jehnny Beth, with stripped back and atmospheric guitars giving way to her lyrical prowess. As the bass crawls around the dim corners and the guitar sulks in the corner, Jehnny Beth tells us “If only I’d lived beyond regret, I wouldn’t feel guilt for what I take / Is it human to ask for more? Is it human to adore life?” This final question becomes the central theme for the song, and as it slowly builds into the most heroic of finales, Jehnny Beth wails out “I adore life! Do you adore life?”

When there’s music this good, the answer is a resounding yes.

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Below you can see my top 50 albums of the year list.

[Click on the album art at the top to download the album]

50| Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
49| Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits
48| Daughter - Not To Disappear
47| The Avalanches - Wildflower
46| Beyonce - Lemonade
45| Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
44| Gold Panda - Good Luck and Do Your Best
43| James Blake - The Colour In Anything
42| Lambchop - FLOTUS
41| Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
40| Nothing - Tired Of Tomorrow
39| Camp Cope - Camp Cope
38| Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years
37| Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP
36| Mary Lattimore - At The Dam
35| Woods - City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
34| White Lung - Paradise
33| Solange - A Seat At The Table
32| Wild Beasts - Boy King
31| Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
30| Marissa Nadler - Strangers
29| Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth
28| Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
27| Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
26| Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
25| Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun
24| Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
23| Steve Gunn - Eyes On The Lines
22| Pantha du Prince - The Triad
21| Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
20| Cavern of Anti-Matter - void beats/invocation trex
19| Olga Bell - Tempo
18| Chairlift - Moth
17| Mitski - Puberty 2
16| Anderson .Paak - Malibu
15| Underworld - Barbara, Barbara we face a shining future
14| Xenia Rubinos - Black Terry Cat
13| Savages - Adore Life
12| DIIV - Is The Is Are
11| Frank Ocean - Blonde
10| Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
09| MONEY - Suicide Songs
08| Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
07| A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
06| Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
05| Angel Olsen - My Woman
04| Parquet Courts - Human Performance
03| Preoccupations - Preoccupations
02| ANOHNI - Hopelessness
01| Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

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