Sneaks, who’s already given us three albums filled with a fusion of personal sounding indie vocals, minimalist beats and a unique bass guitar that replaces the traditional hip hop programmed bass, has released her next album, Happy Birthday. Like her past releases, Happy Birthday is original and filled with personality, emanating power and talent that comes from a place of simple sounds and overt silliness.
Above a light bass line, some drums and a retro 80’s sounding synth, Sneaks delivers her lyrics in a light and carefree voice. The album is powerful in its way of not taking itself too seriously. What separates Happy Birthday from Sneaks’ last albums is the notably more serious lyrics.
Her song “This World” states in a matter-of-fact voice, “I can create my life accordingly without you.”, further growing the monotone, cut-through minimalism that shows her total control. The same goes for the ending track “You’ve Got a Lot of Issues”, which doesn’t need to be described but just heard.
Happy Birthday is another successful mix of indie and hip hop from Sneaks that is a part of her unique sound. If you’re looking for more songs with that perfected blend of genres from Highway Hypnosis, I’d personally recommend the songs “Sanity” and “Winter Weather”. Although you should just listen to the whole 26 minutes that the album has to offer.
Another big difference in this release is its use of effects. The echoes and reverb that replace a lot of Sneaks’ usually punchiness give the album a nighttime vibe. My first review for Hassle was her album Highway Hypnosis, so it surprises me to say now that I think this is her best album to listen to while driving.
Check out Happy Birthday for silliness and good beats!