Album Review: Marika Hackman – I’m Not Your Man

Marika Hackman succeeds in a brave change of sound, writes

Rating:  ★★★★☆

Marika Hackman has always been a refreshing artist, whose music is dedicated to a rare and honest lyricism. In her second album I’m Not Your Man, Hackman retains these qualities while also providing a new sound, ditching the acoustic guitar (excluding two tracks: ‘Cigarette’ and ‘I’d Rather Be With Them’) and mellow layered vocals with a more hi-fi electric sound, an obvious difference from her first album We Sleep At Last. This new-found energy will lend itself well to a new realm of live shows for Hackman, playing with a band rather than solo.

Hackman’s first single from the new album, ‘Boyfriend’, is quite a shock at first; an energetic track that encompasses everything her last album wasn’t. However, it was just as enticing and captivating as the Marika Hackman fans know and love.

In a recent interview, Hackman said her shift in sound was a “deliberate effort”, and that the first song she wrote, ‘Violet’, was a bridge between the two sounds. ‘Apple Tree’, is perhaps the track most similar to Hackman’s first record, returning slightly to the eerie, contained tone.

Thematically, I’m Not Your Man tackles themes of sexuality in a fresh and honest way. Lyrically, Hackman bares all in this album. Though her lyrics are more explicit than usual, there is still an element of connection with her first record, mainly through the perverse imagery Hackman uses.

Changing sound is a brave but crucial step for an artist, and with this new album, Marika Hackman has totally succeeded. Continuing on from her musical foundations with an active transition to a more energetic, electric sound, I’m Not Your Man is an enchanting addition to Hackman’s catalogue.

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