Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Hael Husaini – Jampi

Are you ready to get Jampified? We’re not quite.


Thomas Inskeep: An over-the-top, overly dramatic pop song, with full strings, and overwrought guitar — think Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Joshua Copperman: Much has already been written this year regarding the use of narratives in music writing, and I’ve called myself out for my extensive use of comparisons before. So when writing about one of the runner-ups of Akademi Fantasia, a Malaysian reality show (as part of a duo), I have nothing to fall back on. And this is a quite strange song — it’s slow in a way that makes it out of step with the rest of Malaysia’s Spotify top 25, and yet slickly produced in a way that makes it out of step with the Malaysian songs on the list. There are deep drum machines, huge swells, and strings, even as there’s also guitars and a surprising amount of space. Yet it’s captivating in its refusal to stick to a genre, making something familiar but strangely impossible to place.

Anjy Ou: An amazing vocal performance set over a super dramatic piano and electric guitars that send you reeling — yet somehow, not a musical? To call “Jampi” performative seems inadequate – it forces you to pay attention, and then pummels you into submission with repetitive lyrics and massive waves of sound. FEEL MY EMOTIONNNN!!!! It’s almost too much, to the point where you begin to doubt Hael’s sincerity. I understand the comparisons to Eurovision here, because this song is clearly built as spectacle – it’s meant to be seen (heard?), and not necessarily felt. But oh, that voice. I would follow that voice into any cacophony.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Much like those comps of obscure global versions of surf rock, now we get to hear what the G-Eazy remix of “You Don’t Own Me” can sound like in another culture’s hands.

Ramzi Awn: A bit plodding, but the intricacies of Husaini’s melody make up for it. His high notes are no small feat, and the calculated chord changes leading up to the bridge echo Britney Spears in their longing. Overall, “Jampi” delivers an impressive knack for balladry.

Adaora Ede: “Jampi”‘s grandeur is not particularly heady to the point where you are  overwhelmed by the rise and growth of the track- the interest almost  sneaks up on you as the leading instrumentation is smartly switched out  from a delicate piano to requinto guitar riffs and strings. The  downtempo merengue/bachata style in the verses is less imposing than  what I would’ve expected from something that sounds like it was jacked  from a “Romeo Santos-type beat” Youtube video (now I’m wondering that  there is a genre of free stock beats dedicated to balladic Latin pop  somewhere on the Internet), but the less imposing feel is made up for  cleverly in an emotional vocal performance.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I’m ok with garish instrumentation but its only purpose here is to make clear that THIS DUDE CAN SING. And yet, Husaini’s vocal performance is so unnecessarily flashy that it fails to connect on any emotional level.

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One Response to “Hael Husaini – Jampi”

  1. Didn’t want to clog up my blurb BUT y’all have to listen to the acoustic version of this:

    Also, if you’re kinda feeling this you should absolutely listen to the Korean group Brown Eyed Soul

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