Friday, May 11th, 2018

Amy Shark – I Said Hi

To no one there, and no one heard at all, not even a bear.


Alfred Soto: The oddness of the hook keeps me listening. She said hi? Okay. M-Phazes and Dann Hume bring clippety-cloppety drum loops and Amy Shark brings a chorus melody hinting at Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.” The multi-tracked approach to limning despair has a perfunctoriness that undercuts the single’s personality. — it’s closer to #angst.

Katherine St Asaph: It took me a while to figure out who “I Said Hi,” and to a lesser degree (the still-excellent) “Adore” reminded me of: Alanis. The acoustic meat-and-potatoes, the vocal scrunches, the turns of phrase that announce themselves as Turns of Phrase — all underappreciated and welcome in my book. Probably not everyone’s; “I Said Hi” is the compromise, as if instead of making resolutely Alanis albums, she’d engaged with Adult Hits as they currently exist, with “Hello” and “Fight Song” and the Ryan Tedder apparatus.

Joshua Copperman: Not as good as “Adore”, and a bit closer to Skylar Grey than I’d like Amy Shark to be. The depth that prompted me to compare Shark to Daughter last year is revealed to be closer to Grey’s angst, which is fine but a little underwhelming. If it’s not superior to “Adore” or “Drive You Mad”, the even better follow-up single, it’s still good in its own right. I love the “When The Levee Breaks” drums, and the chorus takes the best melodic parts of songs from Michelle BranchAshlee Simpson, and other mid-2000s pop people, and modernizes them. Even the lyrics start to come together after repeat listens, though the passive-aggression gets on my nerves and the bridge, while effective, brings me back to songwriters like Grey. As much as I do ultimately like the song, that’s the issue; I wanted an original artist to emerge from “Adore”, and yet the impulse is still there to compare her to her predecessors. 

Iain Mew: There’s some of the raw wound immediacy of “Adore” in “I Said Hi,” especially in the physicality of the first verse. That quality could surely have won out over the decision to turn outwards to address the haters, or the decision to throw the entire Antonoff manual at the production, but both at once is a tall order. 

Alex Clifton: It sounds like a sadder, downtrodden version of “Sober“–it took me three days to figure out where I had heard that guitar progression before–but without much of the necessary rage I need for a song that references boxing. I think Shark’s going for something more biting and sarcastic, but it comes out weaker than I want it–“tell ’em all I say hi” ain’t really the retort I want to use to show up my enemies. If only she’d taken a page from Pink’s book and just let loose with her vocal performance. That’d show ’em.

Dorian Sinclair: “And all my veins pump blood into my throat/so I can hit the note, go do it all again” is a very satisfying couplet. In particular, the rhyme coming early in the second line cuts things short in a way that pairs nicely with the clipped drop-off Shark has on practically every word in the song. That said, by the end of the song that trick of enunciation begins to feel more like sloppy technique than deliberate affect, and none of the other lines are as specific or as satisfyingly constructed as what I quoted above. I just wish the rest lived up to that highwater mark.

Will Adams: I can see what “I Said Hi” is reaching for: something like Wynter Gordon’s “World On Fire,” whereby a singer-songwriterly core is bulked up by radio-friendly pop production. And it can work — the Mumford-esque stomp did for Gordon. But there are better sounds to choose from than Alex da Kid.

A.J. Cohn: While I’m not so into generic, overproduced alt-pop, I’m deeply here for passive-aggressive self-empowerment anthems. 

Leela Grace: This is my fight song and my ‘Fight Song.’

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3 Responses to “Amy Shark – I Said Hi”

  1. I totally missed Joshua’s prior Alanis comparison so, uh, credit there to not me

  2. the album was disappointing mainly for the same reasons outlined in this post, but it’s good in places, especially “The Idiot”

  3. huh i thought it was pretty good! have to spend more time with it though

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